Study of Acute Liver Failure in Children Using Next Generation Sequencing Technology
Hegarty, R.; Gibson, P.; Sambrotta, M.; Strautnieks, S.; Foskett, P.; Ellard, S.; Baptista, J.; Lillis, S.; Bansal, S.; Vara, R.; Dhawan, A.; Grammatikopoulos, T.; Thompson, R.J.
Journal of Pediatrics 236: 124-130
ISSN/ISBN: 1097-6833 PMID: 34023347 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.05.041
To use next generation sequencing (NGS) technology to identify undiagnosed, monogenic diseases in a cohort of children who suffered from acute liver failure (ALF) without an identifiable etiology. We identified 148 under 10 years of age admitted to King's College Hospital, London, with ALF of indeterminate etiology between 2000 and 2018. A custom NGS panel of 64 candidate genes known to cause ALF and/or metabolic liver disease was constructed. Targeted sequencing was carried out on 41 children in whom DNA samples were available. Trio exome sequencing was performed on 4 children admitted during 2019. A comparison of the clinical characteristics of those identified with biallelic variants against those without biallelic variants was then made. Homozygous and compound heterozygous variants were identified in 8 out of 41 children (20%) and 4 out of 4 children (100%) in whom targeted and exome sequencing were carried out, respectively. The genes involved were NBAS (3 children); DLD (2 children); and CPT1A, FAH, LARS1, MPV17, NPC1, POLG, SUCLG1, and TWINK (1 each). The 12 children who were identified with biallelic variants were younger at presentation and more likely to die in comparison with those who did not: median age at presentation of 3 months and 30 months and survival rate 75% and 97%, respectively. NGS was successful in identifying several specific etiologies of ALF. Variants in NBAS and mitochondrial DNA maintenance genes were the most common findings. In the future, a rapid sequencing NGS workflow could help in reaching a timely diagnosis and facilitate clinical decision making in children with ALF.