We aimed at identifying the molecular defect underlying the clinical phenotype of a Finnish family with a cardiac conduction defect and atrial arrhythmias.
A large Finnish family was clinically evaluated (ECG, 24-hour ambulatory ECG, echocardiography). We performed linkage analysis with markers flanking the SCN5A gene and subsequently sequenced the SCN5A gene. Five family members had atrial arrhythmias and intracardiac conduction defects, and due to bradycardia needed a pacemaker when adolescents. No heart failure or sudden cardiac death was observed. Left ventricle dilatation was seen in one individual and three individuals had a slightly enlarged right ventricle. Premature death due to stroke occurred in one subject during the study, and two other members had suffered from stroke at young age. Linkage analysis favored the role of the SCN5A gene in disease pathogenesis, and direct sequencing disclosed D1275N mutation. This alteration was present not only in all six affected individuals, but also in two young individuals lacking clinical symptoms.
Cardiac conduction defect and atrial arrhythmias in a large Finnish family appear to result from the SCN5A D1275N mutation. Although no sudden cardiac death was recorded in the family, at least three affected members had encountered brain infarction at the age of 30 or younger.