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Prenatal exome sequencing and chromosomal microarray analysis in fetal structural anomalies in a highly consanguineous population reveals a propensity of ciliopathy genes causing multisystem phenotypes

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John SayerORCiD


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© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.Fetal abnormalities are detected in 3% of all pregnancies and are responsible for approximately 20% of all perinatal deaths. Chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) and exome sequencing (ES) are widely used in prenatal settings for molecular genetic diagnostics with variable diagnostic yields. In this study, we aimed to determine the diagnostic yield of trio-ES in detecting the cause of fetal abnormalities within a highly consanguineous population. In families with a history of congenital anomalies, a total of 119 fetuses with structural anomalies were recruited and DNA from invasive samples were used together with parental DNA samples for trio-ES and CMA. Data were analysed to determine possible underlying genetic disorders associated with observed fetal phenotypes. The cohort had a known consanguinity of 81%. Trio-ES led to diagnostic molecular genetic findings in 59 fetuses (with pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants) most with multisystem or renal abnormalities. CMA detected chromosomal abnormalities compatible with the fetal phenotype in another 7 cases. Monogenic ciliopathy disorders with an autosomal recessive inheritance were the predominant cause of multisystem fetal anomalies (24/59 cases, 40.7%) with loss of function variants representing the vast majority of molecular genetic abnormalities. Heterozygous de novo pathogenic variants were found in four fetuses. A total of 23 novel variants predicted to be associated with the phenotype were detected. Prenatal trio-ES and CMA detected likely causative molecular genetic defects in a total of 55% of families with fetal anomalies confirming the diagnostic utility of trio-ES and CMA as first-line genetic test in the prenatal diagnosis of multisystem fetal anomalies including ciliopathy syndromes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al-Hamed MH, Kurdi W, Khan R, Tulbah M, AlNemer M, AlSahan N, AlMugbel M, Rafiullah R, Assoum M, Monies D, Shah Z, Rahbeeni Z, Derar N, Hakami F, Almutairi G, AlOtaibi A, Ali W, AlShammasi A, AlMubarak W, AlDawoud S, AlAmri S, Saeed B, Bukhari H, Ali M, Akili R, Alquayt L, Hagos S, Elbardisy H, Akilan A, Almuhana N, AlKhalifah A, Abouelhoda M, Ramzan K, Sayer JA, Imtiaz F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Genetics

Year: 2021

Volume: 141

Pages: 101-126

Online publication date: 01/12/2021

Acceptance date: 26/11/2021

ISSN (print): 0340-6717

ISSN (electronic): 1432-1203

Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH


DOI: 10.1007/s00439-021-02406-9


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