Yield of genetic screening in inherited cardiac channelopathies how to prioritize access to genetic testing

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Background-Identification of mutations in cardiac ion channel genes concurs to the diagnosis of long-QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. However, because availability of genetic screening is still limited and reimbursement policies are lacking, there is a need of evidence-based criteria to prioritize access to genetic testing for these diseases. Methods and Results-We determined the yield of genetic testing and cost per positive genotyping in 1394 consecutive probands. Among the 546 patients referred for long-QT syndrome-genes screening, those with clinical diagnosis of long-QT syndrome had the highest yield (64%) and lowest cost (US $8418) for each positive genotyping. Among 798 individuals screened for mutation on the SCN5A gene, the highest yield was obtained in patients with type 1 Brugada syndrome ECG pattern (51 of 405; 13%) corresponding to a cost of US $21 441 per positive genotyping. In conclusive Brugada syndrome patients the presence of atrioventricular block (odds ratio: 3.3, CI: 1.8 to 6.1; P0.0001) increases the yield (23%) of genotyping and reduces its cost (US $ 11 700). Among 175 patients screened on RyR2 gene, those with documented bidirectional ventricular tachycardia had the highest incidence (62%) of mutations and the lowest cost (US $5263) per positive genotyping. Genetic screening of unselected family members of sudden cardiac death victims and idiopathic ventricular fibrillation survivors is largely ineffective (yield of 9%) and costly (US $71 430 per 1 positive genotyping). Conclusions-Genotyping can be performed at reasonable cost in individuals with conclusive diagnosis of long-QT syndrome and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, and in patients with type I Brugada syndrome ECG with atrioventricular block. These patients should be given priority to access genetic testing. (Circ Arrhythmia Electrophysiol. 2009;2:6-15.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-15
Number of pages10
JournalCirculation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Brugada syndrome
  • Ctecholaminergic VT
  • Genetics
  • Long-QT syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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