Propionic acidemia as a cause of adult-onset dilated cardiomyopathy

Moniek Riemersma, Mark R. Hazebroek, Appolonia T. J. M. Helderman-van den Enden, Gajja S. Salomons, Sacha Ferdinandusse, Martijn C. G. J. Brouwers, Liesbeth van der Ploeg, Stephane Heymans, Jan F. C. Glatz, Arthur van den Wijngaard, Ingrid P. C. Krapels, Jorgen Bierau, Han G. Brunner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is extremely heterogeneous with a large proportion due to dominantly inherited disease-causing variants in sarcomeric genes. Recessive metabolic diseases may cause DCM, usually with onset in childhood, and in the context of systemic disease. Whether metabolic defects can also cause adult-onset DCM is currently unknown. Therefore, we performed an extensive metabolic screening in 36 consecutive adult-onset DCM patients. Diagnoses were confirmed by Sanger sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). Measurement of propionyl-CoA carboxylase (PCC) activity was done in fibroblasts. Whole exome sequencing (WES) data of 157 additional DCM patients were analyzed for genetic defects. We found a metabolic profile characteristic for propionic acidemia in a patient with severe DCM from 55 years of age. Genetic analysis demonstrated compound heterozygous variants in PCCA. Enzymatic activity of PCC in fibroblasts was markedly reduced. A targeted analysis of the PCCA and PCCB genes using available WES data from 157 further DCM patients subsequently identified another patient with propionic acidemia. This patient had compound heterozygous variants in PCCB, and developed severe DCM from 42 years of age. Adult-onset DCM can be caused by propionic acidemia, an autosomal recessive inheritable metabolic disorder usually presenting as neonatal or childhood disease. Current guidelines advise a low-protein diet to ameliorate or prevent detrimental aspects of the disease. Long-term follow-up of a larger group of patients may show whether this diet would also ameliorate DCM. Our results suggest that diagnostic metabolic screening to identify propionic acidemia and related disorders in DCM patients is justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1201
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017



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