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Background: A novel familial arrhythmia syndrome, RyR2 calcium release deficiency syndrome (CRDS), has recently been described. We evaluated a large and well characterized family to assess provocation testing, risk factor stratification and response to therapy in CRDS. Methods: We present a family with multiple unheralded sudden cardiac deaths and aborted cardiac arrests, primarily in children and young adults, with no clear phenotype on standard clinical testing. Results: Genetic analysis, including whole genome sequencing, firmly established that a missense mutation in RYR2 , Ala4142Thr, was the underlying cause of disease in the family. Functional study of the variant in a cell model showed RyR2 loss-of-function, indicating that the family was affected by CRDS. EPS (Electrophysiological Study) was undertaken in 9 subjects known to carry the mutation, including a survivor of aborted sudden cardiac death, and the effects of flecainide alone and in combination with metoprolol were tested. There was a clear gradation in inducibility of nonsustained and sustained ventricular arrhythmia between subjects at EPS, with the survivor of aborted sudden cardiac death being the most inducible subject. Administration of flecainide substantially reduced arrhythmia inducibility in this subject and abolished arrhythmia in all others. Finally, the effects of additional metoprolol were tested; it increased inducibility in 4/9 subjects. Conclusions: The Ala4142Thr mutation of RYR2 causes the novel heritable arrhythmia syndrome CRDS, which is characterized by familial sudden death in the absence of prior symptoms or a recognizable phenotype on ambulatory monitoring or exercise stress testing. We increase the experience of a specific EPS protocol in human subjects and show that it is helpful in establishing the clinical status of gene carriers, with potential utility for risk stratification. Our data provide evidence that flecainide is protective in human subjects with CRDS, consistent with the effect previously shown in a mouse model.

Original publication




Journal article


Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine


Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)

Publication Date