A multiplex PCR strategy to screen for known mutations in families with sudden cardiac death burden


  • Giang Duong
  • Thomas M. Helms
  • Christoph A. Karle




sudden cardiac death, personalized medicine, point-of-care testing, PCR


Ventricular tachyarrythmia occurring in ischemic heart disease, dilated/hypertrophic cardiomyopathies or rare monogenic mutations of cardiac ion channels or associated proteins belong to the most frequent causes of sudden cardiac death (SCD). In further decades, next generation sequencing and bioinformatic analysis will become the gold standard of SCD risk stratification. At the moment, Sanger-sequencing is still obligatory in genetic diagnosis. A multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay detecting eight SCD mutations in one reaction-tube was developed. To test the general validity of the assay, it was used with 12 patients, who had one or two of the eight mutations (LMNA, p.V256V; SCN5A, p.R1583C; RYR2, p.G1885E; MYH7, V606M; DSG2, p.T335A; KCNJ8, p.S422L; MYBPC, p.E441K; TNNT2, A38V). Thereafter, we tested the multiplex assay in a real diagnostic environment within a high risk family of several past SCD cases. This method allows efficient discrimination of multiple mutations by allele-specific PCR with standard PCR conditions. It relies on obtaining a PCR product specific to the mutation or wildtype—using primers that have the 3´end base complementary to the DNA template site, i.e. a specific primer only permits amplification to take place when its 3´terminal nucleotide matches with its target sequence. The PCR products are further analyzed by length, with Tape Station®(Agilent Technologies, Germany), a high-fidelity capillary chromatography test. The novel multiplex PCR assay strategy could be a good additional test used for SCD risk stratification. Advantages of the test are high velocity and ease of implementation, low price and flexibility of application within cardiomyopathy families for screening purposes.


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How to Cite

Duong G, Helms TM, Karle CA. A multiplex PCR strategy to screen for known mutations in families with sudden cardiac death burden. J Biol Methods [Internet]. 2017Sep.11 [cited 2022May27];4(3):e78. Available from: https://jbmethods.org/jbm/article/view/181