Background: In the absence of cytogenetic abnormality, fetuses with congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) with/without other structural anomalies show a higher likelihood of monogenic causes; however, defining the underlying pathology can be challenging. Here, we investigate the value of whole-exome sequencing (WES) in fetuses with CAKUT but normal findings upon karyotyping and chromosome microarray analysis.
Methods: WES was performed on DNA from the cord blood of 30 fetuses with unexplained CAKUT with/without other structural anomalies. In the first 23 cases, sequencing was initially performed on fetal DNA only; for the remaining seven cases, the trio of fetus, mother and father was sequenced simultaneously.
Results: Of the 30 cases, pathogenic variants were identified in 4 (13%) (UMOD, NEK8, HNF1B and BBS2) and incidental variants in 2 (7%) (HSPD1 and GRIN2B). Furthermore, two of the above four cases had other anomalies in addition to CAKUT. Thus, the detection rate was only 2/22 (9.1%) for isolated CAKUT and 2/8 (25%) for CAKUT with other abnormalities.
Conclusions: Applying WES to the prenatal diagnostic approach in CAKUT fetuses with or without other anomalies allows for an accurate and early etiology-based diagnosis and improved clinical management. To expedite interpretation of the results, trio sequencing should be employed; however, interpretation may nevertheless be compromised by incomplete coverage of all relevant genes.
Keywords: BBS2; NEK8; UMOD; congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract; monogenic causes.
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.