Myeloproliferative Neoplasms in Danish Twins

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Objective: Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a heterogeneous group of diseases characterized by clonal hyperproliferation of immature and mature cells of the myeloid lineage. Genetic differences have been proposed to play a role in the development of MPNs. Monozygotic twin pairs with MPNs have been reported in a few case reports, but the MPN concordance pattern in twins remains unknown. Method: All twin pairs born in the period 1900–2010 were identified in the nationwide Danish Twin Registry. Only pairs with both twins alive on January 1, 1977, and those born thereafter were included to allow identification in the Danish National Patient Registry. Results: A total of 158 twin pairs were registered with an MPN diagnosis: 36 monozygotic, 104 dizygotic, and 18 pairs with unknown zygosity. MPNs were diagnosed in both twins in 4 pairs. The probandwise concordance rates for monozygotic twin pairs were higher than for dizygotic twin pairs (15 vs. 0%; p = 0.016). Conclusion: An estimated concordance rate of 15% (95% CI 0.059–0.31) is modest, but given the rarity of MPNs this finding is clinically relevant and provides further support for the role of genetic predisposition in the development of MPNs.

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