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Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2015;15(8):1023-32. doi: 10.1586/14737159.2015.1053467. Epub 2015 Jun 18.

Exome sequencing and whole genome sequencing for the detection of copy number variation.

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Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Many laboratories now use genomic microarrays as their first-tier diagnostic test for copy number variation (CNV) detection. In addition, whole exome sequencing is increasingly being offered as a diagnostic test for heterogeneous disorders. Although mostly used for the detection of point mutations and small insertion-deletions, exome sequencing can also be used to call CNVs, allowing combined small and large variant analysis. Whole genome sequencing in addition to these advantages also offers the potential to characterize CNVs to unprecedented levels of accuracy, providing position and orientation information. In this review, we discuss the clinical potential of CNV identification in whole exome sequencing and whole genome sequencing data and the implications this has on diagnostic laboratories.


clinical sequencing; copy number variation; next-generation sequencing; structural variation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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