Next generation sequencing panel in undifferentiated autoinflammatory diseases identify patients with colchicine-responder recurrent fevers

Riccardo Papa, Marta Rusmini, Stefano Volpi, Roberta Caorsi, Paolo Picco, Alice Grossi, Francesco Caroli, Francesca Bovis, Valeria Musso, Laura Obici, Cinzia Castana, Angelo Ravelli, Marielle E Van Gijn, Isabella Ceccherini, Marco Gattorno
Rheumatology 2019 July 19

OBJECTIVES: The number of innate immune system disorders classified as systemic autoinflammatory diseases (SAID) has increased in recent years. More than 70% of patients with clinical manifestations of SAID did not receive a molecular diagnosis, thus being classed as so-called undifferentiated or undefined SAID (uSAID). The aim of the present study was to evaluate a next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based clinically oriented protocol in patients with uSAID.

METHODS: We designed a NGS panel that included 41 genes clustered in seven subpanels. Patients with uSAID were classified into different groups according to their clinical features and sequenced for the coding portions of the 41 genes.

RESULTS: Fifty patients were enrolled in the study. Thirty-four patients (72%) displayed recurrent fevers not consistent with a PFAPA phenotype. Sixteen patients displayed a chronic inflammatory disease course. A total of 100 gene variants were found (mean 2 per patient; range 0-6), a quarter of which affected suspected genes. Mutations with a definitive diagnostic impact were detected in two patients. Patients with genetically negative recurrent fevers displayed a prevalent gastrointestinal, skin and articular involvement. Patients responded to steroids on demands (94%) and colchicine, with a response rate of 78%.

CONCLUSION: Even with a low molecular diagnostic rate, a NGS-based approach is able to provide a final diagnosis in a proportion of uSAID patients with evident cost-effectiveness. It also allows the identification of a subgroup of genetically negative patients with recurrent fever responding to steroid on demand and colchicine.


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