A microcosting and cost-consequence analysis of clinical genomic testing strategies in autism spectrum disorder

Genet Med. 2017 Nov;19(11):1268-1275. doi: 10.1038/gim.2017.47. Epub 2017 May 4.


PurposeWhole-exome (WES) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) increase the diagnostic yield in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to chromosomal microarray (CMA), but there have been no comprehensive cost analyses. The objective was to perform such an assessment of CMA, WES, and WGS and compare the incremental cost per additional positive finding in hypothetical testing scenarios.MethodsFive-year patient and program costs were estimated from an institutional perspective. WES and WGS estimates were based on HiSeq 2500 with an additional WGS estimate for HiSeq X platforms. Parameter uncertainty was assessed with probabilistic and deterministic sensitivity analysis.ResultsThe cost per ASD sample was CAD$1,655 (95% CI: 1,611; 1,699) for WES, CAD$2,851 (95% CI: 2,750; 2,956) for WGS on HiSeq X, and CAD$5,519 (95% CI: 5,244; 5,785) on HiSeq 2500, compared to CAD$744 (95% CI 714, 773) for CMA. The incremental cost was over CAD$25,000 per additional positive finding if CMA was replaced by newer technology.ConclusionWhile costs for WES and WGS remain high, future reductions in material and equipment costs, and increased understanding of newly discovered variants and variants of unknown significance will lead to improved value.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / economics
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Human
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Exome Sequencing*
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Microarray Analysis / economics*
  • Whole Genome Sequencing / economics*