Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Wide spectrum of desmosomal mutations in Danish patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy
  1. A H Christensen1,2,
  2. M Benn3,
  3. H Bundgaard1,
  4. A Tybjærg-Hansen4,
  5. S Haunso1,2,5,6,
  6. J H Svendsen1,2,6
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2The Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Cardiac Arrhythmia, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. 4Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. 5Laboratory for Molecular Cardiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. 6Department of Surgery and Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alex Hørby Christensen, Department of Cardiology, Section 2142, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark; alexhc{at}


Background Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a lethal condition characterised by ventricular tachyarrhythmias, right and/or left ventricular involvement and fibrofatty infiltrations in the myocardium. The disease has been associated with mutations in genes encoding desmosomal proteins.

Objective To thoroughly evaluate an ARVC cohort for desmosomal mutations and large genomic rearrangements and characterise the phenotype associated with double-mutation carrier status.

Methods 65 unrelated patients (55 fulfilling current criteria and 10 borderline cases) were screened for mutations in all known desmosome genes (desmocollin-2 (DSC2), desmoglein-2 (DSG2), desmoplakin (DSP), plakoglobin (JUP) and plakophilin-2 (PKP2)) and TGFb3. Presence of genomic rearrangements was assessed by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification.

Results The screening identified 19 different mutations: two mutations in DSG2, four in DSC2, two in DSP (one heterozygous and one homozygous), four in JUP (one patient with compound heterozygous) and seven in PKP2. No genomic rearrangements or mutations in TGFb3 were identified. Ten of the mutations were novel. Seven families carried more than one mutation. Clinical evaluation of these families showed a variable phenotype associated with the double-mutation carrier status. The homozygous desmoplakin mutation (DSP p.G2056R+p.G2056R) carrier came from a consanguineous Danish family and had left ventricular involvement, palmar keratoderma and curly hair consistent with a Carvajal-like syndrome.

Conclusions 33% of patients in this Danish cohort with ARVC carried desmosomal mutations with a surprisingly wide mutation spectrum. A substantial proportion of patients carried more than one mutation. Our study supports comprehensive desmosomal mutation screening beyond the first encountered mutation, whereas routine screening for genomic rearrangements does not seem indicated.

  • ARVC
  • genetics
  • desmosome
  • cardiomyopathy
  • arrhythmias

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding This work was supported by grants from The Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Cardiac Arrhythmia, the Danish Cardiovascular Research Academy, The Research Council at the Heart Centre, Rigshospitalet, The Villadsen Family Foundation, Brødrene Hartmanns Foundation and The John and Birthe Meyer Foundation.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Ethics Committee of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg (approval number KF01-152/04).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.