Purpose: We comprehensively evaluated the mutational spectrum of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) and investigated the molecular diagnostic rate and genotype-phenotype correlation in a Korean cohort.
Methods: This single-center retrospective case series included 50 Korean patients with LCA between June 2015 and March 2019. Molecular analysis was conducted using targeted panel-based next-generation sequencing, including deep intronic and regulatory variants or whole exome sequencing. The molecular diagnosis was made based on the inheritance pattern, zygosity, and pathogenicity.
Results: Among the 50 patients, 27 patients (54%) were male, and 11 (22%) showed systemic features. Genetic variants highly likely to be causative were identified in 78% (39/50) of cases and segregated into families. We detected two pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in a gene linked to a recessive trait without segregation analysis in three cases (6.0%). GUCY2D (20%), NMNAT1 (18%), and CEP290 (16%) were the most frequently mutated genes in Korean LCA. Copy number variations were found in three patients, which accounted for 6% of LCA cases. A possible dual molecular diagnosis (Senior-Løken syndrome along with Leigh syndrome, and Joubert syndrome with transposition of the great arteries) was made in two patients (4%). Three of 50 patients were medically or surgically actionable: one patient for RPE65 gene therapy and two patients with WDR19 Senior-Løken syndrome for early preparation for kidney and liver transplantations.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that approximately 4% of patients may have dual molecular diagnoses, and 6% were surgically or medically actionable in LCA. Therefore, accurate molecular diagnosis and careful interpretation of next-generation sequencing results can be of great help in patients with LCA.
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