Background: The risk of adverse cardiovascular events in patients with acute myocarditis (AM) and desmosomal gene variants (DGV) remains unknown. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to ascertain the risk of death, ventricular arrhythmias, recurrent myocarditis, and heart failure (main endpoint) in patients with AM and pathogenic or likely pathogenetic DGV. Methods: In a retrospective international study from 23 hospitals, 97 patients were included: 36 with AM and DGV (DGV[+]), 25 with AM and negative gene testing (DGV[−]), and 36 with AM without genetics testing. All patients had troponin elevation plus findings consistent with AM on histology or at cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). In 86 patients, CMR changes in function and structure were re-assessed at follow-up. Results: In the DGV(+) AM group (88.9% DSP variants), median age was 24 years, 91.7% presented with chest pain, and median left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was 56% on CMR (P = NS vs the other 2 groups). Kaplan-Meier curves demonstrated a higher risk of the main endpoint in DGV(+) AM compared with DGV(−) and without genetics testing patients (62.3% vs 17.5% vs 5.3% at 5 years, respectively; P < 0.0001), driven by myocarditis recurrence and ventricular arrhythmias. At follow-up CMR, a higher number of late gadolinium enhanced segments was found in DGV(+) AM. Conclusions: Patients with AM and evidence of DGV have a higher incidence of adverse cardiovascular events compared with patients with AM without DGV. Further prospective studies are needed to ascertain if genetic testing might improve risk stratification of patients with AM who are considered at low risk.
- acute myocarditis
- cardiac magnetic resonance
- desmosomal gene variants
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine