Time filter

Source Type

Boston, MA, United States

Doyle N.,Boston University | Cirino A.,Cardiovascular Genetics Center | Trivedi A.,InformedDNA | Flynn M.,Boston University
Journal of Genetic Counseling

Access to genetic counselors’ services is neither universal nor automatic, due in part to the gatekeeper role of healthcare payers – the companies and agencies that purchase healthcare services on patients’ behalf and control the bulk of healthcare spending. This pilot study surveyed and analyzed the relative importance of barriers to expanded payer coverage of genetic counselors’ services. Surveys were mailed to 263 medical directors and quality assurance directors at health insurance carriers throughout the United States. Respondents provided demographic information and indicated the importance of nine possible barriers, plus an optional write-in “other.” Twenty-two surveys were analyzed. “Evidence that use of genetic counselors improves health outcomes” led the list of factors having a significant/very significant influence on coverage policy. Sixteen respondents (73 %) rated this factor “4” or “5” on a Likert scale; it also received the most #1 rankings and the highest score using a weighted-mean analysis. Provider practice guidelines, CMS/Medicare regulations, and genetic counselor licensure-all of which are outside of payers’ direct control-also ranked highly. The research demonstrates that although the potential barriers to expanded reimbursement for genetic counselors are numerous and complex, some are more consistently identified as important and therefore more deserving of legislative and advocacy resources to effect change. Future research should endeavor to increase survey response and include providers as well as payers. (222 words). © 2014, National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. Source

Zabalza M.,Hospital Universitari Josep Trueta | Subirana I.,CIBER ISCIII | Sala J.,Hospital Universitari Josep Trueta | Sala J.,University of Girona | And 9 more authors.

Aims: To perform a meta-analysis of the association between CYP2C19 loss- and gain-of-function variants and cardiovascular outcomes and bleeding in patients with coronary artery disease treated with clopidogrel, and to explore the causes of heterogeneity between studies. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted. A random-effects model was used to summarise the results. In the presence of between-study heterogeneity, a meta-regression analysis was performed to identify study characteristics explaining this heterogeneity. Results: Patients who carried a loss-of-function allele, mainly CYP2C19*2, did not present an increased risk of a cardiovascular event, HR =1.23 (95% CI 0.97 to 1.55). Substantial heterogeneity was observed between studies (I 2 =35.6), which was partially explained by the study sample size: the pooled HR was higher among studies with a sample size <500 patients (HR =3.55; 95% CI 1.66 to 7.56) and lower among studies with a sample size ≥500 (HR =1.06; 95% CI 0.89 to 1.26). CYP2C19*2 was associated with an increased risk of a stent thrombosis (HR =2.24; 95% CI 1.52 to 3.30). The gain-of-function allele, mainly CYP2C19*17, was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events (HR =0.75; 95% CI 0.66 to 0.87) and a higher risk of major bleeding (HR =1.26; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.50). Conclusions: Not only CYP2C19 loss-of-function but also gain-of-function alleles should be considered to define the pharmacogenetic response to clopidogrel. The results question the relevance of the CYP2C19 loss-of-function alleles in the prediction of major cardiovascular events beyond stent thrombosis in coronary patients treated with clopidogrel. The gain-of-function variant is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events but a higher risk of bleeding. Source

Alcalde M.,University of Girona | Campuzano O.,University of Girona | Allegue C.,University of Girona | Torres M.,University of Santiago de Compostela | And 9 more authors.
International Journal of Legal Medicine

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a rare cardiac disease characterized by myocardial fibrofatty replacement, which can lead to sudden death. Previous studies have described a reduction of plakoglobin (PKG) protein at the level of intercalated disks as the hallmark of ARVC. The main objective of this study was to investigate the involvement of desmosome mutations in the histological phenotype of ARVC. We performed a genetic analysis of ARVC cases, and histological characterization of ARVC heart tissue samples. We genetically analyzed 48 ARVC cases distributed into two groups: 42 human tissue heart samples with conclusive diagnoses of ARVC after post-mortem examination; and six DNA samples from peripheral blood of living patients who were clinically diagnosed. Sequenom MassARRAY analysis revealed three ARVC-associated variants in three patients in 42 tissue samples (7.14 %). Three individuals carried one single pathogenic mutation, p.R811S _PKP2, p.S824L_DSC2, and p.T526M_PKP2 in postmortem samples. In the living patients group, Sequenom MassARRAY revealed no mutation, however, later Sanger sequencing analysis identified three ARVC mutations in 2/6 patients not included in the Sequenom design. In post-mortem tissue samples we performed immunohistochemical labeling for desmosomal proteins and Connexin 43. This study revealed that PKP2 carriers present either absent or clearly reduced PKG immunolabeling, while the DSC2 carrier showed PKG immunolabeling similar to control samples. Immunolabeling for Cx43 did not show any differences compared to controls. The present Sequenom MassARRAY design is a useful tool for post-mortem genetic diagnosis of ARVC. Plakoglobin reduction occurs at intercalated disks, while other desmosome proteins and Cx43 remain unaltered. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Campuzano O.,Cardiovascular Genetics Center | Alcalde M.,Cardiovascular Genetics Center | Berne P.,Arrhythmias Unit | Zorio E.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Medical Genetics

Introduction: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy is an inherited disease characterized by a progressive myocardium fibrofatty replacement. This abnormality disrupts electrical transmission causing ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. This genetic disease is transmitted mainly with an autosomal dominant pattern. Our aim was to identify the genetic defect responsible for the pathology in a Spanish family, and to perform its phenotype connotations. Material and methods: A total of 15 individuals in a three-generation Spanish family were screened after the sudden cardiac death of one family member. All they underwent a complete physical examination, 12-lead electrocardiogram, 2-dimensional echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging, exercise stress test, 24-h Holter and genetic testing. Results: Autopsy revealed the presence of biventricular arrhythmogenic dysplasia in deceased member. Six family members showed clinical symptoms but only three of them fulfilled definite diagnostic criteria of the disease. Genetic analysis showed a novel nonsense genetic variation in nine family members. Allfamily members with clinical symptoms carried the genetic variation. Conclusions: Genetic testing in families affected by arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy helps to identify the genetic cause responsible for the disease. The incomplete penetrance and variable phenotypic expression highlights the need of comprehensive genetic analysis and further phenotype implications of genetics to clarify the pathophysiology of the disease. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. Source

Discover hidden collaborations