Validation and clinical performance of a combined nuclear‐mitochondrial next‐generation sequencing and copy number variant analysis panel in a
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Diagnosing mitochondrial disorders is a challenge due to the heterogeneous clinical presentation and large number of associated genes. A custom next generation sequencing (NGS) panel was developed incorporating the full mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) plus 19 nuclear genes involved in structural mitochondrial defects and mtDNA maintenance. This assay is capable of simultaneously detecting small gene sequence variations and larger copy number variants (CNVs) in both the nuclear and mitochondrial components along with heteroplasmy detection down to 5%. We describe technical validations of this panel and its implementation for clinical testing in a Canadian reference laboratory, and report its clinical performance in the initial 950 patients tested. Using this assay, we demonstrate a diagnostic yield of 18.1% of patients with known pathogenic variants. In addition to the common 5 kb mtDNA deletion, we describe significant contribution of pathogenic CNVs in both the mitochondrial genome and nuclear genes in this patient population.
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