Scientific Publications

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Better and Faster is Cheaper

Sanford Kobayashi EF, Dimmock DP. 

Hum Mutat. 2022 Jun 20. doi: 10.1002/humu.24422. Online ahead of print. ABSTRACT The rapid pace of advancement in genomic sequencing technology has recently reached a new milestone, with a record-setting time to molecular diagnosis of a mere eight hours. The catalyst behind this achievement is the accumulation of evidence indicating that quicker results more often make an impact on patient care and lead to healthcare cost savings. Herein, we review the diagnostic and clinical utility of rapid whole genome and rapid whole exome sequencing, the associated reduction in healthcare costs, and the relationship between these outcome measures and time-to-diagnosis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. PMID:35723630 | DOI:10.1002/humu.24422

June 20, 2022

The Role of Genome Sequencing in Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Kingsmore SF, Cole FS.

Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet. 2022 Jun 8. doi: 10.1146/annurev-genom-120921-103442. Online ahead of print. ABSTRACT Genetic diseases disrupt the functionality of an infant’s genome during fetal-neonatal adaptation and represent a leading cause of neonatal and infant mortality in the United States. Due to disease acuity, gene locus and allelic heterogeneity, and overlapping and diverse clinical phenotypes, diagnostic genome sequencing in neonatal intensive care units has required the development of methods to shorten turnaround times and improve genomic interpretation. From 2012 to 2021, 31 clinical studies documented the diagnostic and clinical utility of first-tier rapid or ultrarapid whole-genome sequencing through cost-effective identification of pathogenic genomic variants that change medical management, suggest new therapeutic strategies, and refine prognoses. Genomic diagnosis also permits prediction of reproductive recurrence risk for parents and surviving probands. Using implementation science and quality improvement, deployment of a genomic learning healthcare system will contribute to a reduction of neonatal and infant mortality through the integration of genome sequencing into best-practice neonatal intensive care. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics, Volume 23 is October 2022. Please see for revised estimates. PMID:35676073 | DOI:10.1146/annurev-genom-120921-103442

June 8, 2022
Infant MortalityRPM for NICU and PICUrWGS

Best practices for the interpretation and reporting of clinical whole genome sequencing

Austin-Tse CA, Jobanputra V, Perry DL, Bick D, Taft RJ, Venner E, Gibbs RA, Young T, Barnett S, Belmont JW, Boczek N, Chowdhury S, Ellsworth KA, Guha S, Kulkarni S, Marcou C, Meng L, Murdock DR, Rehman AU, Spiteri E, Thomas-Wilson A, Kearney HM, Rehm HL; Medical Genome Initiative*.

NPJ Genom Med. 2022 Apr 8;7(1):27. doi: 10.1038/s41525-022-00295-z. ABSTRACT Whole genome sequencing (WGS) shows promise as a first-tier diagnostic test for patients with rare genetic disorders. However, standards addressing the definition and deployment practice of a best-in-class test are lacking. To address these gaps, the Medical Genome Initiative, a consortium of leading health care and research organizations in the US and Canada, was formed to expand access to high quality clinical WGS by convening experts and publishing best practices. Here, we present best practice recommendations for the interpretation and reporting of clinical diagnostic WGS, including discussion of challenges and emerging approaches that will be critical to harness the full potential of this comprehensive test. PMID:35395838 | DOI:10.1038/s41525-022-00295-z

April 11, 2022

Healthcare Professionals’ Attitudes toward Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing in Pediatric Acute Care

Franck LS, Scheurer-Monaghan A, Bupp CP, Fakhoury JD, Hoffmann TJ, Deshpandey M, Arenchild M, Dimmock DP.

Children. 2022; 9(3):357. Abstract

We aimed to characterize knowledge and attitudes about rapid whole genome sequencing (rWGS) implementation of a broad constituency of healthcare professionals at hospitals participating in a statewide initiative to implement rWGS for hospitalized neonates and children up to 18 years of age meeting clinical criteria for testing. We surveyed 307 healthcare professionals from eight hospitals about their knowledge and attitudes regarding rWGS. We examined survey internal reliability using exploratory factor analysis and associations between respondent characteristics and attitudes toward rWGS with linear regression. We thematically analyzed free-text responses. Views about rWGS implementation in respondents’ own setting and respondents’ personal capability to implement rWGS were generally neutral (M = 3.44 (SD = 0.74); M = 3.30 (SD = 0.85), respectively). Views about the potential for rWGS in clinical practice were overall positive (M = 4.12 (SD = 0.57)). The degree of positivity of attitudes about rWGS was strongly influenced by perceived knowledge, clinical or non-clinical role, concerns about future insurance coverage for rWGS as a first-tier test, and future adverse impact of genomics health information on patients or families. We identified several actionable factors influencing attitudes toward rWGS of pediatric healthcare professionals. Expanded education and ongoing implementation research are needed for the full potential of rWGS in pediatrics to be realized.

March 4, 2022

2022: A pivotal year for diagnosis and treatment of rare genetic diseases

Kingsmore SF

Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2022 Feb 25:mcs.a006204. doi: 10.1101/mcs.a006204. Online ahead of print. ABSTRACT The start of 2022 is an inflection point in the development of diagnostics and treatments for rare genetic diseases in prenatal, pediatric, and adult individuals; the theme of this special issue. Here I briefly review recent developments in the latter two aspects of rare genetic disease diagnostics and treatments. PMID:35217563 | DOI:10.1101/mcs.a006204

February 25, 2022
Rare DiseaseRPM for NICU and PICU

Retrospective identification of prenatal fetal anomalies associated with diagnostic neonatal genomic sequencing results

Zhang-Rutledge K, Owen M, Sweeney NM, Dimmock D, Kingsmore SF, Laurent LC.

Prenat Diagn. 2022 Feb 9. doi: 10.1002/pd.6111. Online ahead of print. ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To determine which types of fetal anomalies are associated with postnatal diagnoses of genetic diseases by genomic sequencing and to assess how prenatal genomic sequencing could affect clinical management. METHOD: This was a secondary analysis of the second Newborn Sequencing in Genomic Medicine and Public Health study that compared fetal imaging results in critically ill infants who had actionable versus negative postnatal genomic sequencing results. RESULTS: Of 213 infants who received genomic sequencing, 80 had available prenatal ultrasounds. Twenty-one (26%) of these were found to have genetic diseases by genomic sequencing. Fourteen (67%) of the 21 with genetic diseases had suspected anomalies prenatally, compared with 33 (56%) of 59 with negative results. Among fetuses with suspected anomalies, genetic diseases were 4.5 times more common in those with multiple anomalies and 6.7 times more common in those with anomalies of the extremities compared to those with negative results. Had the genetic diseases been diagnosed prenatally, clinical management would have been altered in 13 of 14. CONCLUSION: Critically ill infants with diagnostic genomic sequencing were more likely to have multiple anomalies and anomalies of the extremities on fetal imaging. Among almost all infants with suspected fetal anomalies and diagnostic genomic sequencing results, prenatal diagnosis would have likely altered clinical management. PMID:35141907 | DOI:10.1002/pd.6111

February 9, 2022

Evaluating use of changing technologies for rapid next-generation sequencing in pediatrics

Palmquist R, Jenkins SM, Bentley D, Miller C, Mao R, Meibos B, Bayrak-Toydemir P, Tvrdik T, Nadauld LD, Bleyl SB, Chowdhury S, Ostrander B, Flores-Daboub J, Longo N, Tristani-Firouzi M, Hobbs C, Bonkowsky JL, Brunelli L.

Pediatr Res. 2022 Feb 3. doi: 10.1038/s41390-022-01965-5. Online ahead of print. ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Rapid next-generation sequencing (NGS) offers the potential to shorten the diagnostic process and improve the care of acutely ill children. The goal of this study was to report our findings, including benefits and limitations, of a targeted NGS panel and rapid genome sequencing (rGS) in neonatal and pediatric acute clinical care settings. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of patient characteristics, diagnostic yields, turnaround time, and changes in management for infants and children receiving either RapSeq, a targeted NGS panel for 4500+ genes, or rGS, at the University of Utah Hospital and Primary Children’s Hospital, from 2015 to 2020. RESULTS: Over a 5-year period, 142 probands underwent rapid NGS: 66 received RapSeq and 76 rGS. Overall diagnostic yield was 39%. In the majority of diagnostic cases, there were one or more changes in clinical care management. Of note, 7% of diagnoses identified by rGS would not have been identified by RapSeq. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that rapid NGS impacts acute pediatric care in real-life clinical settings. Although affected by patient selection criteria, diagnostic yields were similar to those from clinical trial settings. Future studies are needed to determine relative advantages, including cost, turnaround time, and benefits for patients, of each approach in specific clinical circumstances. IMPACT: The use of comprehensive Mendelian gene panels and genome sequencing in the clinical setting allows for early diagnosis of patients in neonatal, pediatric, and cardiac intensive care units and impactful change in management. Diagnoses led to significant changes in management for several patients in lower acuity inpatient units supporting further exploration of the utility of rapid sequencing in these settings. This study reviews the limitations of comparing sequencing platforms in the clinical setting and the variables that should be considered in evaluating diagnostic rates across studies. PMID:35115709 | DOI:10.1038/s41390-022-01965-5

February 3, 2022

Cost Efficacy of Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit 

Sanford Kobayashi Erica, Waldman Bryce, Engorn Branden M., Perofsky Katherine, Allred Erika, Briggs Benjamin, Gatcliffe Chelsea, Ramchandar Nanda, Gold Jeffrey J., Doshi Ami, Ingulli Elizabeth G., Thornburg Courtney D., Benson Wendy, Farnaes Lauge, Chowdhury Shimul, Rego Seema, Hobbs Charlotte, Kingsmore Stephen F., Dimmock David P., Coufal Nicole G.

Front. Pediatr., 24 January 2022. doi: 10.3389/fped.2021.809536. ABSTRACT The diagnostic and clinical utility of rapid whole genome sequencing (rWGS) for critically ill children in the intensive care unit (ICU) has been substantiated by multiple studies, but comprehensive cost-effectiveness evaluation of rWGS in the ICU outside of the neonatal age group is lacking. In this study, we examined cost data retrospectively for a cohort of 38 children in a regional pediatric ICU (PICU) who received rWGS. We identified seven of 17 patients who received molecular diagnoses by rWGS and had resultant changes in clinical management with sufficient clarity to permit cost and quality adjusted life years (QALY) modeling. Cost of PICU care was estimated to be reduced by $184,846 and a total of 12.1 QALYs were gained among these seven patients. The total cost of rWGS for patients and families for the entire cohort (38 probands) was $239,400. Thus, the net cost of rWGS was $54,554, representing $4,509 per QALY gained. This quantitative, retrospective examination of healthcare utilization associated with rWGS-informed medicine interventions in the PICU revealed approximately one-third of a QALY gained per patient tested at a cost per QALY that was approximately one-tenth of that typically sought for cost-effective new medical interventions. This evidence suggests that performance of rWGS as a first-tier test in selected PICU children with diseases of unknown etiology is associated with acceptable cost-per-QALY gained. PMID:35141181 | PMC:PMC8818891 | DOI:10.3389/fped.2021.809536

January 24, 2022


Effect of Whole-Genome Sequencing on the Clinical Management of Acutely Ill Infants With Suspected Genetic Disease: A Randomized Clinical Trial

NICUSeq Study Group, Krantz ID, Medne L, Weatherly JM, Wild KT, Biswas S, Devkota B, Hartman T, Brunelli L, Fishler KP, Abdul-Rahman O, Euteneuer JC, Hoover D, Dimmock D, Cleary J, Farnaes L, Knight J, Schwarz AJ, Vargas-Shiraishi OM, Wigby K, Zadeh N, Shinawi M, Wambach JA, Baldridge D, Cole FS, Wegner DJ, Urraca N, Holtrop S, Mostafavi R, Mroczkowski HJ, Pivnick EK, Ward JC, Talati A, Brown CW, Belmont JW, Ortega JL, Robinson KD, Brocklehurst WT, Perry DL, Ajay SS, Hagelstrom RT, Bennett M, Rajan V, Taft RJ.

JAMA Pediatr. 2021 Sep 27. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.3496. Online ahead of print. ABSTRACT IMPORTANCE: Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) shows promise as a first-line genetic test for acutely ill infants, but widespread adoption and implementation requires evidence of an effect on clinical management. OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of WGS on clinical management in a racially and ethnically diverse and geographically distributed population of acutely ill infants in the US. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This randomized, time-delayed clinical trial enrolled participants from September 11, 2017, to April 30, 2019, with an observation period extending to July 2, 2019. The study was conducted at 5 US academic medical centers and affiliated children’s hospitals. Participants included infants aged between 0 and 120 days who were admitted to an intensive care unit with a suspected genetic disease. Data were analyzed from January 14 to August 20, 2020. INTERVENTIONS: Patients were randomized to receive clinical WGS results 15 days (early) or 60 days (delayed) after enrollment, with the observation period extending to 90 days. Usual care was continued throughout the study. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The main outcome was the difference in the proportion of infants in the early and delayed groups who received a change of management (COM) 60 days after enrollment. Additional outcome measures included WGS diagnostic efficacy, within-group COM at 90 days, length of hospital stay, and mortality. RESULTS: A total of 354 infants were randomized to the early (n = 176) or delayed (n = 178) arms. The mean participant age was 15 days (IQR, 7-32 days); 201 participants (56.8%) were boys; 19 (5.4%) were Asian; 47 (13.3%) were Black; 250 (70.6%) were White; and 38 (10.7%) were of other race. At 60 days, twice as many infants in the early group vs the delayed group received a COM (34 of 161 [21.1%; 95% CI, 15.1%-28.2%] vs 17 of 165 [10.3%; 95% CI, 6.1%-16.0%]; P = .009; odds ratio, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.22-4.32) and a molecular diagnosis (55 of 176 [31.0%; 95% CI, 24.5%-38.7%] vs 27 of 178 [15.0%; 95% CI, 10.2%-21.3%]; P < .001). At 90 days, the delayed group showed a doubling of COM (to 45 of 161 [28.0%; 95% CI, 21.2%-35.6%]) and diagnostic efficacy (to 56 of 178 [31.0%; 95% CI, 24.7%-38.8%]). The most frequent COMs across the observation window were subspecialty referrals (39 of 354; 11%), surgery or other invasive procedures (17 of 354; 4%), condition-specific medications (9 of 354; 2%), or other supportive alterations in medication (12 of 354; 3%). No differences in length of stay or survival were observed. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this randomized clinical trial, for acutely ill infants in an intensive care unit, introduction of WGS was associated with a significant increase in focused clinical management compared with usual care. Access to first-line WGS may reduce health care disparities by enabling diagnostic equity. These data support WGS adoption and implementation in this population. TRAIL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT03290469. PMID:34570182 | DOI:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.3496

September 28, 2021

Perspectives of Pediatric Providers Regarding Clinical Use of Pharmacogenetics

Avello K, Bell M, Stein Q, Bares V, Landsverk M, Salyakina D, McCafferty-Fernandez J, Kingsmore S, Bedrick A, Bhojwani D, Hoyme HE.

S D Med. 2021 Jul;74(7):294-301. ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: A major goal of the current personalized medicine era is to utilize pharmacogenetics (PGx) in order to influence how medications and therapies are prescribed by providers. However, disparities for prescribing medications between adults and children exist. Research has shown that children are not just small adults and there are different challenges for pediatric providers in regards to ordering and interpreting PGx tests. The goal of this study was to obtain an initial understanding of current pharmacogenetic testing by pediatric providers, as well as determine perceived barriers. METHODS: We distributed an online survey to pediatric providers at six different institutions across the U.S. RESULTS: Of the 252 respondents who completed the survey, 24 percent reported previously ordering PGx tests, however, over 90 percent of respondents reported they would feel more comfortable ordering and interpreting results with the assistance of a pharmacist, geneticist, genetic counselor or PGx expert. Additionally, participants identified specific barriers towards the utilization of PGx testing, as well as suggested solutions to overcome these barriers, including increasing provider education regarding testing, collaboration through a multidisciplinary team approach and established PGx programs. CONCLUSION: As the pharmacogenetic field continues to demonstrate clinical utility in the pediatric population, it will be important to continuously identify and address barriers that exist for providers to allow for more successful implementation of PGx in the pediatric setting, as well as enhance patient care. PMID:34449988

August 31, 2021

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