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The Val142Ile transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis: not only an Afro-American pathogenic variant? A single-centre Italian experience

Cappelli, Francesco; Frusconi, Sabrina; Bergesio, Franco; Grifoni, Elisa; Fabbri, Alessia; Giuliani, Costanza; Falconi, Serena; Bonifacio, Stefania; Perfetto, Federico

Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine: February 2016 - Volume 17 - Issue 2 - p 122–125
doi: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000000290
Cardiac amyloidosis

Transthyterin amyloidosis is a life-threatening disorder caused by the deposition of hepatocyte-derived transthyretin (TTR) amyloid in various tissues and organs. The most common worldwide pathogenic variant with almost exclusive cardiac involvement is Val142Ile with an allele frequency of 3.5% in U.S. African-American population, but supposed extremely rare, with only sporadic cases in Caucasian patients. Unexpectedly, in our amyloidosis referral centre, we identified five patients (15.1% of all TTRm diagnosed patients, three families, two singleton) with Val142Ile variant belonging to unrelated families of Caucasian origin. Molecular study was performed in a total of 10 individuals of which three were Italian families (three affected individuals and five unaffected individuals) and two were singleton (one Italian patient and one patient from Argentine with Spanish ancestry). Sequence analysis of TTR gene revealed the presence of the heterozygous Val142Ile in the five affected patients and in five asymptomatic individuals. All probands underwent, at diagnosis, a complete clinical, echocardiographic and biohumoral evaluation. To the best of our knowledge, we describe the larger report of Caucasian patients with Val142Ile cardiomyopathy. All patients at diagnosis showed symptoms of heart failure with increased thickness of left ventricular walls and systo-diastolic left ventricular dysfunction. They also showed increased plasma values of NT-proBNP and troponin I. Our data confirm that Caucasian patients with the Val142Ile pathogenic variant have phenotypic manifestations similar to that of African-American one. Moreover, our data clearly show that Val142Ile pathogenic variant is not only an African-American mutation but could be also an underestimated Caucasian variant.

aIntensive Cardiac Care Unit, Department of Heart and Vessels

bRegional Amyloid Center Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Careggi

cGenetic Diagnostics Unit, Laboratory Department, Careggi University Hospital

dDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Correspondence to Francesco Cappelli, MD, Intensive Cardiac Unit, Department of Heart and Vessels, University of Florence and Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi (AOUC), Largo Brambilla 3, Florence 50134, Italy Tel: +39557947518; fax: +39557947706; e-mail:

Received 5 December, 2014

Revised 21 January, 2015

Accepted 2 March, 2015

© 2016 Italian Federation of Cardiology. All rights reserved.