Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology has rapidly replaced Sanger sequencing in the assessment of sequence variations in clinical genetics laboratories. One major limitation of current NGS approaches is the ability to detect copy number variations (CNVs) approximately >50 bp. Because these represent a major mutational burden in many genetic disorders, parallel CNV assessment using alternate supplemental methods, along with the NGS analysis, is normally required, resulting in increased labor, costs, and turnaround times. The objective of this study was to clinically validate a novel CNV detection algorithm using targeted clinical NGS gene panel data. We have applied this approach in a retrospective cohort of 391 samples and a prospective cohort of 2375 samples and found a 100% sensitivity (95% CI, 89%-100%) for 37 unique events and a high degree of specificity to detect CNVs across nine distinct targeted NGS gene panels. This NGS CNV pipeline enables stand-alone first-tier assessment for CNV and sequence variants in a clinical laboratory setting, dispensing with the need for parallel CNV analysis using classic techniques, such as microarray, long-range PCR, or multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification. This NGS CNV pipeline can also be applied to the assessment of complex genomic regions, including pseudogenic DNA sequences, such as the PMS2CL gene, and to mitochondrial genome heteroplasmy detection.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/bekim-sadikovic/7/