Whole-exome Sequencing: Opportunities in Pediatric Endocrinology

Mark E Samuels; Caroline Hasselmann; Cheri L Deal; Johnny Deladoey; Guy Van Vliet


Personalized Medicine. 2014;11(1):63-78. 

In This Article

Pediatric endocrinology services see a wide variety of patients with diverse clinical symptoms, including disorders of growth, metabolism, bone and sexual development. Molecular diagnosis plays an important role in this branch of medicine. Traditional PCR-based Sanger sequencing is a mainstay format for molecular testing in pediatric cases despite its relatively high cost, but the large number of gene defects associated with the various endocrine disorders renders gene-by-gene testing increasingly unattractive. Using new high-throughput sequencing technologies, whole genomes, whole exomes or candidate-gene panels (targeted gene sequencing) can now be cost-effectively sequenced for endocrine patients. Based on our own recent experiences with exome sequencing in a research context, we describe the general clinical ascertainment of relevant pediatric endocrine patients, compare different formats for next-generation sequencing and provide examples. Our view is that protocols involving next-generation sequencing should now be considered as an appropriate component of routine clinical diagnosis for relevant patients.