, Volume 131, Issue 8, pp 1295-1304
Date: 11 Mar 2012

Coexisting mutations/polymorphisms of the long QT syndrome genes in patients with repaired Tetralogy of Fallot are associated with the risks of life-threatening events

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Abstract

Coexisting long QT gene mutations/polymorphisms in Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) patients may aggravate the repolarization abnormality from cardiac repair. We investigated the impact of these genes on the risk of life-threatening events. Genetic variants of the three common long QT genes were identified from patients with repaired TOF. Life-threatening events were defined as sudden cardiac death and hemodynamic unstable ventricular arrhythmia. Biophysical characterization of the alleles of the genetic variants was performed using a whole-cell voltage clamp with expression in Xenopus oocytes. A total of 84 patients (56.0 % male with 1,215 patients-year follow-up) were enrolled. Six rare variants and six non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were found in 40 (47.6 %) patients. Life-threatening events occurred in five patients; four received implantable cardioverter defibrillator and one died of sudden cardiac death. Life-threatening events occurred more often in those with genetic variants than those without (5/40 vs. 0/44, P = 0.021); particularly, the hERG or SCN5A gene mutations/polymorphisms (2/5 vs. 3/79, P = 0.027 and 5/27 vs. 0/57, P = 0.003, respectively). Among the five patients with life-threatening events, three had compound variants (hERG p.M645R/SCN5A p.R1193Q, hERG p.K897T/SCN5A p.H558R, and KVLQT1 p.G645S/SCN5A p.P1090L), that also increased the risk of events. Their QTc and JTc were all prolonged. Functional study of the novel variant (hERG gene p.M645R) from patients with life-threatening events revealed a dominant negative effect. In conclusion, in repaired TOF patients, coexisting long QT mutations/polymorphisms might have additive effects on the repolarization abnormality from surgery and thereby increase the risks of life-threatening events.