Frequency of de novo variants and parental mosaicism in vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Genet Med. 2019 Jul;21(7):1568-1575. doi: 10.1038/s41436-018-0356-2. Epub 2018 Nov 26.


Purpose: Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) is a rare inherited autosomal dominant disorder caused by COL3A1 pathogenic variants. A high percentage of de novo cases has been suggested. Part of it could be due to parental mosaicism, but its frequency is unknown.

Methods: This retrospective study included a large series of COL3A1-confirmed vEDS probands with family information. The frequency of de novo cases was evaluated and the distribution of the type of variants was compared according to the mode of inheritance. The COL3A1 mosaicism was studied by deep targeted next- generation sequencing (NGS) from parental blood DNA.

Results: Out of 177 vEDS probands, 90 had a negative family history, suggesting a high rate (50.8%) of de novo pathogenic variants, enriched in the more severe COL3A1 variants (no null variant). Among those, both parental DNA were available in 36 cases and one parental DNA in 18 cases. NGS detected only one mosaicism from maternal blood DNA (allelic ratio 18%), which was confirmed in saliva (allelic ratio 22%).

Conclusion: vEDS is characterized by a high frequency of de novo pathogenic variants. Parental mosaicism is rare (2-3%), but should be systematically searched with targeted NGS, taking into account its importance in genetic counseling.

Keywords: COL3A1; de novo variant; deep targeted next-generation sequencing; mosaicism; vascular Ehlers–Danlos syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Collagen Type III / genetics*
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mosaicism*
  • Mutation*
  • Parents
  • Retrospective Studies


  • COL3A1 protein, human
  • Collagen Type III