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Eur J Hum Genet. 2013 May;21(5):480-6. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2012.200. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

EMQN/CMGS best practice guidelines for the molecular genetic testing of Huntington disease.

Author information

  • 1Department of Clinical Genetics, Laboratory for Diagnostic Genome Analysis, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands. m.losekoot@lumc.nl

Abstract

Huntington disease (HD) is caused by the expansion of an unstable polymorphic trinucleotide (CAG)n repeat in exon 1 of the HTT gene, which translates into an extended polyglutamine tract in the protein. Laboratory diagnosis of HD involves estimation of the number of CAG repeats. Molecular genetic testing for HD is offered in a wide range of laboratories both within and outside the European community. In order to measure the quality and raise the standard of molecular genetic testing in these laboratories, the European Molecular Genetics Quality Network has organized a yearly external quality assessment (EQA) scheme for molecular genetic testing of HD for over 10 years. EQA compares a laboratory's output with a fixed standard both for genotyping and reporting of the results to the referring physicians. In general, the standard of genotyping is very high but the clarity of interpretation and reporting of the test result varies more widely. This emphasizes the need for best practice guidelines for this disorder. We have therefore developed these best practice guidelines for genetic testing for HD to assist in testing and reporting of results. The analytical methods and the potential pitfalls of molecular genetic testing are highlighted and the implications of the different test outcomes for the consultand and his or her family members are discussed.

PMID:
22990145
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3641377
Free PMC Article
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