Array-based Molecular Karyotyping in 115 VATER/VACTERL and VATER/VACTERL-like Patients Identifies Disease-Causing Copy Number Variations

Birth Defects Res. 2017 Jul 17;109(13):1063-1069. doi: 10.1002/bdr2.1042. Epub 2017 Jun 12.


Background: The acronym VATER/VACTERL refers to the rare nonrandom association of the following component features (CF): vertebral defects (V), anorectal malformations (A), cardiac defects (C), tracheoesophageal fistula with or without esophageal atresia, renal malformations (R), and limb defects (L). Patients presenting with at least three CFs are diagnosed as having VATER/VACTERL association while patients presenting with only two CFs are diagnosed as having VATER/VACTERL-like phenotypes. Recently, rare causative copy number variations (CNVs) have been identified in patients with VATER/VACTERL association and VATER/VACTERL-like phenotypes.

Methods: To detect further causative CNVs we performed array based molecular karyotyping in 75 VATER/VACTERL and 40 VATER/VACTERL-like patients.

Results: Following the application of stringent filter criteria, we identified 13 microdeletions and seven microduplications in 20 unrelated patients all of which were absent in 1,307 healthy inhouse controls (n < 0.0008). Among these, microdeletion at 17q12 was confirmed to be de novo. Three microdeletions at 5q23.1, 16q23.3, 22q11.21, and one microduplication at 10q11.21 were all absent in the available parent. Microdeletion of chromosomal region 22q11.21 was previously found in VATER/VACTERL patients rendering it to be causative in our patient. The remaining 15 CNVs were inherited from a healthy parent.

Conclusion: In two of 115 patients' causative CNVs were found (2%). The remaining identified rare CNVs represent candidates for further evaluation. Rare inherited CNVs may constitute modifiers of, or contributors to, multifactorial VATER/VACTERL or VATER/VACTERL-like phenotypes. Birth Defects Research 109:1063-1069, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: CNV analysis; Microdeletion; Microduplication; VATER/VACTERL association; de novo.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnosis
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics
  • Adult
  • Anal Canal / abnormalities
  • Animals
  • Anorectal Malformations / genetics
  • Anus, Imperforate / complications
  • Anus, Imperforate / genetics*
  • Anus, Imperforate / metabolism
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Esophagus / abnormalities*
  • Esophagus / metabolism
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / genetics*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Karyotype
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Radius / abnormalities*
  • Radius / metabolism
  • Spine / abnormalities*
  • Spine / metabolism
  • Trachea / abnormalities*
  • Trachea / metabolism

Supplementary concepts

  • VATER association