29 Jun Pathogenicity Assignment of Variants in Genes Associated With Cardiac Channelopathies Evolve Toward Diagnostic Uncertainty
Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, <a href=»https://www.ahajournals.org/toc/circgen/15/3″>Volume 15, Issue 3</a>, Page e003491, June 1, 2022.
Background:Accurately determining variant pathogenicity is critical in the diagnosis of cardiac channelopathies; however, it remains unknown how variant pathogenicity status changes over time. Our aim is to use a comprehensive analysis of ClinVar to understand the mutability of variant evaluation in channelopathy-associated genes to inform clinical decision-making around variant calling.Methods:We identified 10 genes (RYR2, CASQ2, KCNQ1, KCNH2, SCN5A, CACNA1C, CALM1, CALM2, CALM3, TRDN) strongly associated with cardiac channelopathies, as well as 3 comparison gene sets (disputed long QT syndrome, sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, and all ClinVar). We comprehensively analyzed variant pathogenicity calls over time using the ClinVar database with Rstudio. Analyses focused on the frequency and directionality of clinically meaningful changes in disease association, defined as a change from one of the following three categories to another: likely benign/benign, conflicting evidence of pathogenicity/variant of uncertain significance, and likely pathogenic/pathogenic.Results:In total, among channelopathy-associated genes, there were 9975 variants in ClinVar and 8.4% had a clinically meaningful change in disease association at least once over the past 10 years, as opposed to 4.9% of all ClinVar variants. The 3 channelopathy-associated genes with the most variants undergoing a clinically significant change wereKCNQ1(20.9%), SCN5A(11.2%), andKCNH2(10.1%). Ten of the 12 included genes had variant evaluations that trended toward diagnostic uncertainty over time. Specifically, channelopathy-associated gene variants with either pathogenic/likely pathogenic or benign/likely benign assignments were 5.6× and 2×, respectively, as likely to be reevaluated to conflicting/variant of uncertain significance compared to the converse.Conclusions:Over the past 10 years, 8.4% of variants in channelopathy-associated genes have changed pathogenicity status with a decline in overall diagnostic certainty. Ongoing clinical and genetic variant follow-up is needed to account for presence of clinically meaningful change in variant pathogenicity assignment over time.