Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental condition with a strong genetic basis. We accurately assessed 209 ASD subjects, categorized in complex (47) and essential (162), and performed array comparative genomic hybridization to identify pathogenic and recurrent Copy Number Variants (CNVs). We found 117 CNVs in 75 patients, 11 classified as pathogenic. The complex ASD subjects have higher frequency of pathogenic CNVs with a diagnostic yield of 12.8%. Familiality, cognitive and verbal abilities, severity of autistic symptoms, neuroimaging and neurophysiological findings are not related to genetic data. This study identifies loci of interest for ASD and highlights the importance of a careful phenotypic characterization, as complex ASD is related to higher rate of pathogenic CNVs.
Keywords: ASD; Array-comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH); Children; Complex autism spectrum disorder; Copy number variants (CNVs); Developmental disorders.