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Incremental yield of whole-genome sequencing over chromosomal microarray analysis and exome sequencing for congenital anomalies in prenatal period and infancy: systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Shreeve, N 
Sproule, C 
Choy, KW 
Dong, Z 
Gajewska-Knapik, K 


OBJECTIVES: First, to determine the incremental yield of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) over quantitative fluorescence polymerase chain reaction (QF-PCR)/chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) with and without exome sequencing (ES) in fetuses, neonates and infants with a congenital anomaly that was or could have been detected on prenatal ultrasound. Second, to evaluate the turnaround time (TAT) and quantity of DNA required for testing using these pathways. METHODS: This review was registered prospectively in December 2022. Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, MEDLINE (Web of Science), The Cochrane Library and databases were searched electronically (January 2010 to December 2022). Inclusion criteria were cohort studies including three or more fetuses, neonates or infants with (i) one or more congenital anomalies; (ii) an anomaly which was or would have been detectable on prenatal ultrasound; and (iii) negative QF-PCR and CMA. In instances in which the CMA result was unavailable, all cases of causative pathogenic copy number variants > 50 kb were excluded, as these would have been detectable on standard prenatal CMA. Pooled incremental yield was determined using a random-effects model and heterogeneity was assessed using Higgins' I2 test. Subanalyses were performed based on pre- or postnatal cohorts, cases with multisystem anomalies and those meeting the NHS England prenatal ES inclusion criteria. RESULTS: A total of 18 studies incorporating 902 eligible cases were included, of which eight (44.4%) studies focused on prenatal cohorts, incorporating 755 cases, and the remaining studies focused on fetuses undergoing postmortem testing or neonates/infants with congenital structural anomalies, constituting the postnatal cohort. The incremental yield of WGS over QF-PCR/CMA was 26% (95% CI, 18-36%) (I2  = 86%), 16% (95% CI, 9-24%) (I2  = 85%) and 39% (95% CI, 27-51%) (I2  = 53%) for all, prenatal and postnatal cases, respectively. The incremental yield increased in cases in which sequencing was performed in line with the NHS England prenatal ES criteria (32% (95% CI, 22-42%); I2  = 70%) and in those with multisystem anomalies (30% (95% CI, 19-43%); I2  = 65%). The incremental yield of WGS for variants of uncertain significance (VUS) was 18% (95% CI, 7-33%) (I2  = 74%). The incremental yield of WGS over QF-PCR/CMA and ES was 1% (95% CI, 0-4%) (I2  = 47%). The pooled median TAT of WGS was 18 (range, 1-912) days, and the quantity of DNA required was 100 ± 0 ng for WGS and 350 ± 50 ng for QF-PCR/CMA and ES (P = 0.03). CONCLUSION: While WGS in cases with congenital anomaly holds great promise, its incremental yield over ES is yet to be demonstrated. However, the laboratory pathway for WGS requires less DNA with a potentially faster TAT compared with sequential QF-PCR/CMA and ES. There was a relatively high rate of VUS using WGS. © 2023 The Authors. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Publication status: Published


chromosomal microarray analysis, exome sequencing, fetal anomaly, neonatal, next-generation sequencing, prenatal, whole-genome sequencing, Female, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Pregnancy, Cohort Studies, DNA, Exome Sequencing, Microarray Analysis, Prenatal Diagnosis, Ultrasonography, Infant

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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol

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