Investigating diagnostic sequencing techniques for CADASIL diagnosis

P. J. Dunn, N. Maksemous, R. A. Smith, H. G. Sutherland, L. M. Haupt*, L. R. Griffiths

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is a cerebral small vessel disease caused by mutations in the NOTCH3 gene. Our laboratory has been undertaking genetic diagnostic testing for CADASIL since 1997. Work originally utilised Sanger sequencing methods targeting specific NOTCH3 exons. More recently, next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based technologies such as a targeted gene panel and whole exome sequencing (WES) have been used for improved genetic diagnostic testing. In this study, data from 680 patient samples was analysed for 764 tests utilising 3 different sequencing technologies. Sanger sequencing was performed for 407 tests, a targeted NGS gene panel which includes NOTCH3 exonic regions accounted for 354 tests, and WES with targeted analysis was performed for 3 tests. In total, 14.7% of patient samples (n = 100/680) were determined to have a mutation. Testing efficacy varied by method, with 10.8% (n = 44/407) of tests using Sanger sequencing able to identify mutations, with 15.8% (n = 56/354) of tests performed using the NGS custom panel successfully identifying mutations and a likely non-NOTCH3 pathogenic variant (n = 1/3) identified through WES. Further analysis was then performed through stratification of the number of mutations detected at our facility based on the number of exons, level of pathogenicity and the classification of mutations as known or novel. A systematic review of NOTCH3 mutation testing data from 1997 to 2017 determined the diagnostic rate of pathogenic findings and found the NGS-customised panel increases our ability to identify disease-causing mutations in NOTCH3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalHuman Genomics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


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