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Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2017 Nov 21;3(6). pii: a002055. doi: 10.1101/mcs.a002055. Print 2017 Nov.

Genomic analysis of an infant with intractable diarrhea and dilated cardiomyopathy.

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Inova Translational Medicine Institute, Inova Health System, Falls Church, Virginia 22042, USA.
Inova Children's Hospital, Falls Church, Virginia 22042, USA.
Department of Pathology, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, Virginia 22042, USA.
GeneDx, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, USA.


We describe a case of an infant presenting with intractable diarrhea who subsequently developed dilated cardiomyopathy, for whom a diagnosis was not initially achieved despite extensive clinical testing, including panel-based genetic testing. Research-based whole-genome sequences of the proband and both parents were analyzed by the SAVANNA pipeline, a variant prioritization strategy integrating features of variants, genes, and phenotypes, which was implemented using publicly available tools. Although the intestinal morphological abnormalities characteristic of congenital tufting enteropathy (CTE) were not observed in the initial clinical gastrointestinal tract biopsies of the proband, an intronic variant, EPCAM c.556-14A>G, previously identified as pathogenic for CTE, was found in the homozygous state. A newborn cousin of the proband also presenting with intractable diarrhea was found to carry the same homozygous EPCAM variant, and clinical testing revealed intestinal tufting and loss of EPCAM staining. This variant, however, was considered nonexplanatory for the proband's dilated cardiomyopathy, which could be a sequela of the child's condition and/or related to other genetic variants, which include de novo mutations in the genes NEDD4L and GSK3A and a maternally inherited SCN5A variant. This study illustrates three ways in which genomic sequencing can aid in the diagnosis of clinically challenging patients: differential diagnosis despite atypical clinical presentation, distinguishing the possibilities of a syndromic condition versus multiple conditions, and generating hypotheses for novel contributory genes.


dilated cardiomyopathy; intractable diarrhea

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