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Am J Med Genet. 1997 Oct 31;72(3):257-65.

Xq28-linked noncompaction of the left ventricular myocardium: prenatal diagnosis and pathologic analysis of affected individuals.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, USA.


Isolated noncompaction of the left ventricular myocardium (INVM) is characterized by the presence of numerous prominent trabeculations and deep intertrabecular recesses within the left ventricle, sometimes also affecting the right ventricle and interventricular septum. Familial occurrence of this disorder was described previously. We present a family in which 6 affected individuals demonstrated X-linked recessive inheritance of this trait. Affected relatives presented postnatally with left ventricular failure and arrhythmias, associated with the pathognomonic echocardiographic findings of INVM. The usual findings of Barth syndrome (neutropenia, growth retardation, elevated urinary organic acids, low carnitine levels, and mitochondrial abnormalities) were either absent or found inconsistently. Fetal echocardiograms obtained between 24-30 weeks of gestation in 3 of the affected males showed a dilated left ventricle in one heart, but were not otherwise diagnostic of INVM in any of the cases. Four of the affected individuals died during infancy, one is in cardiac failure at age 8 months, and one is alive following cardiac transplant at age 9 months. The hearts from infants who died or underwent transplantation appeared, on gross examination, to be enlarged, with coarse, deep ventricular trabeculations and prominent endocardial fibroelastosis. Histologically, there were loosely organized fascicles of myocytes in subepicardial and midmyocardial zones of both ventricles, and the myocytes showed thin, often angulated fibers with prominent central clearing and reduced numbers of filaments. Markedly elongated mitochondria were present in some ventricular myocytes from one specimen, but this finding was not reproducible. Genetic linkage analysis has localized INVM to the Xq28 region, where other myopathies with cardiac involvement have been located.

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