Genetic α-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is characterized by low serum AAT levels and the identification of causal mutations or an abnormal protein. It needs to be distinguished from deficiency because of nongenetic causes, and diagnostic delay may contribute to worse patient outcome. Current routine clinical testing assesses for only the most common mutations. We wanted to determine the proportion of unexplained cases of AAT deficiency that harbor causal mutations not identified through current standard allele-specific genotyping and isoelectric focusing (IEF). All prospective cases from December 1, 2013, to October 1, 2014, with a low serum AAT level not explained by allele-specific genotyping and IEF were assessed through full-gene sequencing with a direct sequencing method for pathogenic mutations. We reviewed the results using American Council of Medical Genetics criteria. Of 3523 cases, 42 (1.2%) met study inclusion criteria. Pathogenic or likely pathogenic mutations not identified through clinical testing were detected through full-gene sequencing in 16 (38%) of the 42 cases. Rare mutations not detected with current allele-specific testing and IEF underlie a substantial proportion of genetic AAT deficiency. Full-gene sequencing, therefore, has the ability to improve accuracy in the diagnosis of AAT deficiency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Medicine