Massively parallel sequencing and targeted exomes in familial kidney disease can diagnose underlying genetic disorders

Kidney Int. 2017 Dec;92(6):1493-1506. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2017.06.013. Epub 2017 Aug 23.


Inherited kidney disease encompasses a broad range of disorders, with both multiple genes contributing to specific phenotypes and single gene defects having multiple clinical presentations. Advances in sequencing capacity may allow a genetic diagnosis for familial renal disease, by testing the increasing number of known causative genes. However, there has been limited translation of research findings of causative genes into clinical settings. Here, we report the results of a national accredited diagnostic genetic service for familial renal disease. An expert multidisciplinary team developed a targeted exomic sequencing approach with ten curated multigene panels (207 genes) and variant assessment individualized to the patient's phenotype. A genetic diagnosis (pathogenic genetic variant[s]) was identified in 58 of 135 families referred in two years. The genetic diagnosis rate was similar between families with a pediatric versus adult proband (46% vs 40%), although significant differences were found in certain panels such as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (88% vs 17%). High diagnostic rates were found for Alport syndrome (22 of 27) and tubular disorders (8 of 10), whereas the monogenic diagnostic rate for congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract was one of 13. Quality reporting was aided by a strong clinical renal and genetic multidisciplinary committee review. Importantly, for a diagnostic service, few variants of uncertain significance were found with this targeted, phenotype-based approach. Thus, use of targeted massively parallel sequencing approaches in inherited kidney disease has a significant capacity to diagnose the underlying genetic disorder across most renal phenotypes.

Keywords: DNA sequencing; diagnostic; gene testing; inherited kidney disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Exome / genetics*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Counseling / methods
  • Genetic Testing / methods*
  • Genetic Variation
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Diseases / genetics
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Precision Medicine / methods
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Young Adult