The Francis Crick Institute
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Increasing the diagnostic yield of childhood glaucoma cases recruited into the 100,000 Genomes Project.

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-20, 11:53 authored by Omayma Al-Saei, Samantha Malka, Nicholas Owen, Elbay Aliyev, Fazulur Rehaman Vempalli, Paulina Ocieczek, Bashayer Al-Khathlan, Genomics England Research Consortium, Khalid Fakhro, Mariya Moosajee
Childhood glaucoma (CG) encompasses a heterogeneous group of genetic eye disorders that is responsible for approximately 5% of childhood blindness worldwide. Understanding the molecular aetiology is key to improving diagnosis, prognosis and unlocking the potential for optimising clinical management. In this study, we investigated 86 CG cases from 78 unrelated families of diverse ethnic backgrounds, recruited into the Genomics England 100,000 Genomes Project (GE100KGP) rare disease cohort, to improve the genetic diagnostic yield. Using the Genomics England/Genomic Medicine Centres (GE/GMC) diagnostic pipeline, 13 unrelated families were solved (13/78, 17%). Further interrogation using an expanded gene panel yielded a molecular diagnosis in 7 more unrelated families (7/78, 9%). This analysis effectively raises the total number of solved CG families in the GE100KGP to 26% (20/78 families). Twenty-five percent (5/20) of the solved families had primary congenital glaucoma (PCG), while 75% (15/20) had secondary CG; 53% of this group had non-acquired ocular anomalies (including iris hypoplasia, megalocornea, ectopia pupillae, retinal dystrophy, and refractive errors) and 47% had non-acquired systemic diseases such as cardiac abnormalities, hearing impairment, and developmental delay. CYP1B1 was the most frequently implicated gene, accounting for 55% (11/20) of the solved families. We identified two novel likely pathogenic variants in the TEK gene, in addition to one novel pathogenic copy number variant (CNV) in FOXC1. Variants that passed undetected in the GE100KGP diagnostic pipeline were likely due to limitations of the tiering process, the use of smaller gene panels during analysis, and the prioritisation of coding SNVs and indels over larger structural variants, CNVs, and non-coding variants.