Background: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is associated with variants in desmosome genes. Secondary findings of pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants, primarily loss-of-function (LOF) variants, are recommended for clinical reporting; however, their prevalence and associated phenotype in a general clinical population are not fully characterized. Methods: From whole-exome sequencing of 61 019 individuals in the DiscovEHR cohort, we screened for putative loss-of-function variants in PKP2, DSC2, DSG2, and DSP. We evaluated measures from prior clinical ECG and echocardiograms, manually over-read to evaluate ARVC diagnostic criteria, and performed a PheWAS (phenome-wide association study). Finally, we estimated expected penetrance using Bayesian inference. Results: One hundred forty individuals (0.23%; 59±18 years old at last encounter; 33% male) had an ARVC variant (G+). None had an existing diagnosis of ARVC in the electronic health record, nor significant differences in prior ECG or echocardiogram findings compared with matched controls without variants. Several G+ individuals satisfied major repolarization (n=4) and ventricular function (n=5) criteria, but this prevalence matched controls. PheWAS showed no significant associations of other heart disease diagnoses. Combining our best genetic and disease prevalence estimates yields an estimated penetrance of 6.0%. Conclusions: The prevalence of ARVC loss-of-function variants is ≈1:435 in a general clinical population of predominantly European descent, but with limited electronic health record-based evidence of phenotypic association in our population, consistent with a low penetrance estimate. Prospective deep phenotyping and longitudinal follow-up of a large sequenced cohort is needed to determine the true clinical relevance of an incidentally identified ARVC loss-of-function variant.
- electronic health records
- whole exome sequencing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine