M. Anwar Iqbal, Ulrich Broeckel, Brynn Levy, Steven Skinner, Nikhil Sahajpal, Vanessa Rodriguez, Aaron Stence, Kamel Awayda, Gunter Scharer, Cindy Skinner, Roger Stevenson, Aaron Bossler, Peter L. Nagy, Ravindra Kolhe
The standard of care (SOC) cytogenetic testing methods, such as chromosomal microarray (CMA) and Fragile-X syndrome (FXS) testing, have been employed for the detection of copy number variations (CNVs), and tandem repeat expansions/contractions that contribute towards a sizable portion of genetic abnormalities in constitutional disorders. However, CMA is unable to detect balanced structural variations (SVs) or determine the precise location or orientation of copy number gains. Karyotyping, albeit with lower resolution, has been used for the detection of balanced SVs. Other molecular methods such as PCR and Southern blotting, either simultaneously or in a tiered fashion have been used for FXS testing, adding time, cost, and complexity to reach an accurate diagnosis in affected individuals. Optical genome mapping (OGM), innovative technology in the cytogenomics arena enables a direct, high-resolution view of ultra-long DNA molecules (more than 150 kbp), which are then assembled de novo to detect germline SVs ranging from 500 bp insertions and deletions to complex chromosomal rearrangements. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of OGM in comparison to the current SOC methods and assess the intra- and inter-site reproducibility of the OGM technique. We report the largest retrospective dataset to date on OGM performed at five laboratories (multi-site) to assess the robustness, QC performance, and analytical validation (multi-operator, and multi-instrument) in detecting SVs and CNVs associated with constitutional disorders compared to SOC technologies.