J. Intern. Med. 290 (2) 404-415 [2021-08-00; online 2021-05-06]
To investigate whether genotyping could be used as a cost-effective screening step, preceding next-generation sequencing (NGS), in molecular diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) in Swedish patients. Three hundred patients of Swedish origin with clinical suspicion of heterozygous FH were analysed using a specific array genotyping panel embedding 112 FH-causing mutations in the LDLR, APOB and PCSK9 genes. The mutations had been selected from previous reports on FH patients in Scandinavia and Finland. Mutation-negative cases were further analysed by NGS. In 181 patients with probable or definite FH using the Dutch lipid clinics network (DLCN) criteria (score ≥ 6), a causative mutation was identified in 116 (64%). Of these, 94 (81%) were detected by genotyping. Ten mutations accounted for more than 50% of the positive cases, with APOB c.10580G>A being the most common. Mutations in LDLR predominated, with (c.2311+1_2312-1)(2514)del (FH Helsinki) and c.259T>G having the highest frequency. Two novel LDLR mutations were identified. In patients with DLCN score < 6, mutation detection rate was significantly higher at younger age. A limited number of mutations explain a major fraction of FH cases in Sweden. Combination of selective genotyping and NGS facilitates the clinical challenge of cost-effective genetic screening in suspected FH. The frequency of APOB c.10580G>A was higher than previously reported in Sweden. The lack of demonstrable mutations in the LDLR, APOB and PCSK9 genes in ~1/3 of patients with probable FH strongly suggests that additional genetic mechanisms are to be found in phenotypic FH.