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Thromb Haemost. 2010 Apr;103(4):826-32. doi: 10.1160/TH09-08-0593. Epub 2010 Feb 19.

Heavy chain myosin 9-related disease (MYH9 -RD): neutrophil inclusions of myosin-9 as a pathognomonic sign of the disorder.

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Medical Genetics, Department of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.


MYH9-related disease ( MYH9-RD) is an autosomal dominant thrombocytopenia with giant platelets variably associated with young-adult onset of progressive sensorineural hearing loss, presenile cataract, and renal damage. MYH9-RD is caused by mutations of MYH9 , the gene encoding for non-muscle heavy-chain myosin-9. Wild-type and mutant myosin-9 aggregate as cytoplasmic inclusions in patients' leukocytes, the identification of which by immunofluorescence has been proposed as a suitable tool for the diagnosis of MYH9-RD. Since the predictive value of this assay, in terms of sensitivity and specificity, is unknown, we investigated 118 consecutive unrelated patients with a clinical presentation strongly consistent with MYH9-RD. All patients prospectively underwent both the immunofluorescence assay for myosin-9 aggregate detection and molecular genetic analysis of the MYH9 gene. Myosin-9 aggregates were identified in 82 patients, 80 of which (98%) had also a MYH9 mutation. In the remaining 36 patients neither myosin-9 aggregates nor MYH9 mutations were found. Sensitivity and specificity of the immunofluorescence assay was evaluated to be 100% and 95%, respectively. Except for the presence of aggregates, we did not find any other significant difference between patients with or without aggregates, demonstrating that the myosin-9 inclusions in neutrophils are a pathognomonic sign of the disease. However, the identification of the specific MYH9 mutation is still of importance for prognostic aspects of MYH9-RD.

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