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The arrival of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) has led to a sweeping change in the diagnosis of developmental abnormalities (DA) with or without intellectual deficiency (ID). With the prospect of deploying these new technologies, two questions have been raised: the representations of HTS among geneticists and the costs incurred due to these analyses.
Geneticists attending a clinical genetics seminar were invited to complete a questionnaire. The statistical analysis was essentially descriptive and an analysis of costs was undertaken.
Of those responding to the questionnaire, 48% had already prescribed exome analysis and 25% had already had the occasion to disclose the results of such analyses. Ninety-six percent were aware that whole-exome sequencing (WES) had certain limits and 74% expressed misgivings concerning its use in medical practice. In parallel, the evaluation of costs showed that WES was less expensive than conventional procedures.
The survey revealed that geneticists had already come to terms with HTS as early as 2015. Among the major concerns expressed were the complexity of interpreting these tests and the many ethical implications. Geneticists seemed to be aware of the advantages but also the limits of these new technologies. The cost analysis raises questions about the place of HTS and in particular WES in the diagnostic work-up: should it be used early to obtain an etiological diagnosis rather than as the last resort?
It is essential for future generations of doctors and for the families concerned to learn about the concepts of HTS, which is set to become a major feature of new genomic medicine.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Genetics, Developmental abnormalities, High-throughput sequencing, Diagnosis, Genomic medicine