Non-dystrophic myotonias: clinical and mutation spectrum of 70 German patients.
Non-dystrophic myotonias (NDM) are heterogeneous diseases caused by mutations in CLCN1 and SCN4A. The study aimed to describe the clinical and genetic spectrum of NDM in a large German cohort.We retrospectively identified all patients with genetically confirmed NDM diagnosed in our center. The following data were analyzed: demographics, family history, muscular features, cardiac involvement, CK, EMG, genotype, other tested genes, treatment perceived efficacy.70 patients (age 40.2 years ± 14.9; 52.8% males) were included in our study (48 NDM-CLCN1, 22 NDM-SCN4A). The most frequent presenting symptoms were myotonia (NDM-CLCN1 83.3%, NDM-SCN4A 72.2%) and myalgia (NDM-CLCN1 57.4%, NDM-SCN4A 52.6%). Besides a more prominent facial involvement in NDM-SCN4A and cold-sensitivity in NDM-CLCN1, no other significant differences were observed between groups. Cardiac arrhythmia or conduction defects were documented in sixNDM-CLCN1 patients (three of them requiring a pacemaker) and one patient with NDM-SCN4A. CK was normal in 40% of patients. Myotonic runs in EMG were detected in 89.1% of CLCN1 and 78.9% of SCN4A. 50% of NDM-CLCN1 patients had the classic c.2680C>T (p.Arg894*) mutation. 12 new genetic variants are reported. About 50% of patients were not taking any anti-myotonic drug at the last follow-up. The anti-myotonic drugs with the best patient’s perceived efficacy were mexiletine and lamotrigine.This study highlights the relevant clinical overlap between NDM-CLCN1 and NDM-SCN4A patients and warrants the use of early and broad genetic investigation for the precise identification of the NDM subtype. Besides the clinical and genetic heterogeneity, the limited response to current anti-myotonic drugs constitutes a continuing challenge.