Combination of exome sequencing and immune testing confirms Aicardi–Goutières syndrome type 5 in a challenging pediatric neurology case

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Gloria T. Haskell
  • Mari Mori
  • Cynthia Powell
  • Timothy J. Amrhein
  • Lauren Bailey
  • Natasha Strande
  • Karen E. Weck
  • James P. Evans
  • Jonathan S. Berg
  • Priya Kishnani


Exome sequencing is increasingly being used to help diagnose pediatric neurology cases when clinical presentations are not specific. However, interpretation of equivocal results that include variants of uncertain significance remains a challenge. In those cases, follow-up testing and clinical correlation can help clarify the clinical relevance of the molecular findings. In this report, we describe the diagnostic odyssey of a 4-year-old girl who presented with global developmental delay and seizures, with leukodystrophy seen on MRI. Clinical evaluation, MRI, and comprehensive metabolic testing were performed, followed by whole-exome sequencing (WES), parental testing, follow-up testing, and retrospective detailed clinical evaluation. WES identified two candidate causative pathogenic variants in SAMHD1, a gene associated with the recessive condition Aicardi–Goutières syndrome (AGS) type 5 (OMIM 612952): a previously reported pathogenic variant NM_015474 c.602T>A (p.I201N), maternally inherited, and a rare missense variant of uncertain significance, c.1293A>T(p.L431F). Analysis of type I interferon-related biomarkers demonstrated that the patient has an interferon signature characteristic of AGS. Retrospective detailed clinical evaluation showed that the girl has a phenotype consistent with AGS5, a rare neurological condition. These results further define the phenotypic spectrum associated with specific SAMHD1 variants, including heterozygous variants in AGS carriers, and support the idea that autoinflammatory dysregulation is part of the disease pathophysiology. More broadly, this work highlights the issues and methodology involved in ascribing clinical relevance to interpretation of variants detected by WES.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)a002758
JournalCold Spring Harbor Molecular Case Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018