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Clin Genet. 2001 Apr;59(4):248-56.

Clinical and molecular studies of a large family with desmin-associated restrictive cardiomyopathy.

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Division of Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32610-0266, USA.


Patients with restrictive cardiomyopathy (RC) have impaired diastolic function, but intact systolic function until later stages of the disease, ultimately leading to heart failure. Primary RC is often sporadic, but also may be inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, particularly the idiopathic forms. Recently there has been great interest in inherited cardiomyopathy associated with myocyte desmin deposition ('desminopathies'). In some such families, desmin or alpha-B crystallin gene mutation is the underlying cause, and the desmin accumulation affects skeletal muscle as well, usually causing skeletal myopathy. We describe a large family with apparent autosomal dominant inheritance of desmin-associated RC spanning four generations, with the age of onset and severity/rate of progression being highly variable. This family is relatively unique in that there is no symptom-based evidence of skeletal muscle involvement, and the known desminopathy and cardiomyopathy genes/loci have been ruled out. These data support literature suggesting that desmin deposition may be associated with different underlying gene defects, and that a novel desminopathy gene is responsible for the condition in this family.

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