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Cardiology. 2015;130(1):48-51. doi: 10.1159/000368222. Epub 2014 Dec 11.

Dilated, arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy in emery-dreifuss muscular dystrophy due to the emerin splice-site mutation c.449 + 1G>A.

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Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung, Vienna, Austria.



Cardiac involvement in X-linked Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (X-EDMD) usually includes arrhythmias but not dilative cardiomyopathy (dCMP). Here, we report an X-EDMD patient with severe dCMP and life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias associated with other phenotypic features unusual for X-EDMD.


A 46-year-old patient with X-EDMD due to the known splice-site mutation c.449 + 1G>A in the emerin gene experienced palpitations for the first time at the age of 21 years, and a first syncope at the age of 23 years. He was started on phenprocoumon due to atrial fibrillation and systolic dysfunction. At the age of 28 years he received his first pacemaker. Echocardiography at the age of 36 years showed left ventricular dilatation, enlarged atria, myocardial thickening, 28% ejection fraction and diastolic dysfunction. dCMP was suspected. At the age of 38 years, a cardiac resynchronization therapy system was implanted, which was upgraded to an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) because of ventricular tachycardias (at the age of 42 years). During the following months, the ICD discharged 30 times due to ventricular tachycardias. In May 2013, he required recurrent cardio-pulmonary resuscitation because ventricular fibrillation occurred with no discharge of the ICD. He was listed for heart transplantation. He also had hypothyroidism, liver hemangiomas, thrombopenia, anemia and diverticulosis.


X-EDMD may occur along with dCMP. An ICD may be ineffective for ventricular fibrillation in X-EDMD. X-EDMD may be associated with unusual, atypical phenotypic features.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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