Is it time to report carrier state for recessive disorders in every microarray analysis?-A pilot model based on hearing loss genes deletions

Eur J Hum Genet. 2021 Aug;29(8):1292-1300. doi: 10.1038/s41431-021-00856-3. Epub 2021 Mar 22.


This study aimed to examine the implications of reporting heterozygous losses of recessive genes in Chromosomal Microarray Analysis (CMA), based on the incidence of microdeletions of three common hearing impairment genes in the local cohort and the prevalence of sequence variants in these genes in worldwide databases. Prevalence of heterozygous microdeletions in OTOA and STRC genes, as well as deletions in the DFNB1 locus encompassing GJB6 gene, was determined using electronic database of Rabin Medical Center. ClinVar archive and Deafness Variation Database were used to generate a list of clinically significant sequence variants in these three genes, as well as GJB2 gene, and estimation of the frequency of sequence variants was performed. Of the 19,189 CMA tests were performed in our laboratory, 107 STRC microdeletions were found (0.56%), followed in frequency by OTOA deletions (39, 0.2%), and DFNB1 locus deletions (10, 0.05%). The estimated risk for a hearing loss in the examined individual carrying the microdeletion was estimated as 0.11-0.67% for STRC, 0.016-0.13% for OTOA, and 1.9-7.5% in the DFNB1 locus (including double heterozygocity with GJB2 clinically significant sequence variants). The risks were higher in specific populations. In conclusion, we believe that that general decision whether to report or to disregard such incidental findings cannot be part of a uniform policy, but rather based on a detailed evaluation of origin-specific variants for each gene, with a careful consideration and discussion whether to include the microdeletion in the final report for each patient.