Clinical utility in infants with suspected monogenic conditions through next-generation sequencing

Sha Hong, Li Wang, Dongying Zhao, Yonghong Zhang, Yan Chen, Jintong Tan, Lili Liang, Tianwen Zhu
Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine 2019 April 9, : e684

BACKGROUND: Rare diseases are complex disorders with huge variability in clinical manifestations. Decreasing cost of next-generation sequencing (NGS) tests in recent years made it affordable. We witnessed the diagnostic yield and clinical use of different NGS strategies on a myriad of monogenic disorders in a pediatric setting.

METHODS: Next-generation sequencing tests are performed for 98 unrelated Chinese patients within their first year of life, who were admitted to Xin Hua Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, during a 2-year period.

RESULTS: Clinical indications for NGS tests included a range of medical concerns. The mean age was 4.4 ± 4.2 months of age for infants undergoing targeting specific (known) disease-causing genes (TRS) analysis, and 4.4 ± 4.3 months of age for whole-exome sequencing (WES) (p > 0.05). A molecular diagnosis is done in 72 infants (73.47%), which finds a relatively high yield with phenotypes of metabolism/homeostasis abnormality (HP: 0001939) (odds ratio, 1.83; 95% CI, 0.56-6.04; p = 0.32) and a significantly low yield with atypical symptoms (without a definite HPO term) (odds ratio, 0.08; 95% CI, 0.01-0.73; p = 0.03). TRS analysis provides molecular yields higher than WES (p = 0.01). Ninety-eight different mutations are discovered in 72 patients. Twenty-seven of them have not been reported previously. Nearly half (43.06%, 31/72) of the patients are found to carry 11 common disorders, mostly being inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) and neurogenetic disorders and all of them are observed through TRS analysis. Eight positive cases are identified through WES, and all of them are sporadic, of highly variable phenotypes and severity. There are 26 patients with negative findings in this study.

CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that NGS can yield high success rates in a tertiary pediatric setting, but suggests that the scope of known Mendelian conditions may be considerably broader than currently recognized.

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