The diagnostic utility of targeted gene panel sequencing in discriminating etiologies of cytopenia

Gang Zheng, Ping Chen, Aparna Pallavajjalla, Lisa Haley, Lukasz Gondek, Amy Dezern, Hua Ling, Federico De Marchi, Ming-Tseh Lin, Christopher Gocke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The diagnostic utility of somatic mutations in the context of cytopenias is unclear: clonal hematopoiesis can be found in healthy individuals, patients with aplastic anemia (AA), clonal cytopenia of undetermined significance (CCUS) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). We examined a cohort of 207 well-characterized cytopenic patients with a 640-gene next generation sequencing (NGS) panel and compared its diagnostic utility with a “virtual” 41 gene panel. The TET2, SF3B1, ASXL1, and TP53 were the most commonly mutated genes (frequency > 10%). Mutations in the 640-gene panel show high sensitivity (98.3%) but low specificity (47.6%) for diagnosis of MDS. Notably, mutations of splicing factors and genes in the RAS pathway are relatively specific to MDS. Furthermore, high variant allele frequency (VAF) predicts MDS: when the VAF is set at 20%, the positive predictive value (PPV) for MDS is 95.9%, with a specificity of 95.3%. The presence of two or more somatic mutations with ≥10% VAF showed a PPV of 95.2%. While the “virtual” 41-gene panel showed a mild decrease in sensitivity (95.7% vs 98.3%), 100% specificity was observed when either VAF was set at ≥20% (100% vs 95.3%), or two or more somatic mutations had VAFs ≥ 10%. Our study shows targeted gene panel sequencing improves the diagnostic approach and accuracy for unexplained cytopenia, with its high sensitivity and high PPV for MDS when applying VAF cutoffs. Furthermore, a 41-gene panel was shown to have at least comparable performance characteristics to the large 640-gene panel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican journal of hematology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Gene Frequency
Genes
Mutation
Aplastic Anemia
Hematopoiesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Cite this

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title = "The diagnostic utility of targeted gene panel sequencing in discriminating etiologies of cytopenia",
abstract = "The diagnostic utility of somatic mutations in the context of cytopenias is unclear: clonal hematopoiesis can be found in healthy individuals, patients with aplastic anemia (AA), clonal cytopenia of undetermined significance (CCUS) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). We examined a cohort of 207 well-characterized cytopenic patients with a 640-gene next generation sequencing (NGS) panel and compared its diagnostic utility with a “virtual” 41 gene panel. The TET2, SF3B1, ASXL1, and TP53 were the most commonly mutated genes (frequency > 10{\%}). Mutations in the 640-gene panel show high sensitivity (98.3{\%}) but low specificity (47.6{\%}) for diagnosis of MDS. Notably, mutations of splicing factors and genes in the RAS pathway are relatively specific to MDS. Furthermore, high variant allele frequency (VAF) predicts MDS: when the VAF is set at 20{\%}, the positive predictive value (PPV) for MDS is 95.9{\%}, with a specificity of 95.3{\%}. The presence of two or more somatic mutations with ≥10{\%} VAF showed a PPV of 95.2{\%}. While the “virtual” 41-gene panel showed a mild decrease in sensitivity (95.7{\%} vs 98.3{\%}), 100{\%} specificity was observed when either VAF was set at ≥20{\%} (100{\%} vs 95.3{\%}), or two or more somatic mutations had VAFs ≥ 10{\%}. Our study shows targeted gene panel sequencing improves the diagnostic approach and accuracy for unexplained cytopenia, with its high sensitivity and high PPV for MDS when applying VAF cutoffs. Furthermore, a 41-gene panel was shown to have at least comparable performance characteristics to the large 640-gene panel.",
author = "Gang Zheng and Ping Chen and Aparna Pallavajjalla and Lisa Haley and Lukasz Gondek and Amy Dezern and Hua Ling and {De Marchi}, Federico and Ming-Tseh Lin and Christopher Gocke",
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T1 - The diagnostic utility of targeted gene panel sequencing in discriminating etiologies of cytopenia

AU - Zheng, Gang

AU - Chen, Ping

AU - Pallavajjalla, Aparna

AU - Haley, Lisa

AU - Gondek, Lukasz

AU - Dezern, Amy

AU - Ling, Hua

AU - De Marchi, Federico

AU - Lin, Ming-Tseh

AU - Gocke, Christopher

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - The diagnostic utility of somatic mutations in the context of cytopenias is unclear: clonal hematopoiesis can be found in healthy individuals, patients with aplastic anemia (AA), clonal cytopenia of undetermined significance (CCUS) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). We examined a cohort of 207 well-characterized cytopenic patients with a 640-gene next generation sequencing (NGS) panel and compared its diagnostic utility with a “virtual” 41 gene panel. The TET2, SF3B1, ASXL1, and TP53 were the most commonly mutated genes (frequency > 10%). Mutations in the 640-gene panel show high sensitivity (98.3%) but low specificity (47.6%) for diagnosis of MDS. Notably, mutations of splicing factors and genes in the RAS pathway are relatively specific to MDS. Furthermore, high variant allele frequency (VAF) predicts MDS: when the VAF is set at 20%, the positive predictive value (PPV) for MDS is 95.9%, with a specificity of 95.3%. The presence of two or more somatic mutations with ≥10% VAF showed a PPV of 95.2%. While the “virtual” 41-gene panel showed a mild decrease in sensitivity (95.7% vs 98.3%), 100% specificity was observed when either VAF was set at ≥20% (100% vs 95.3%), or two or more somatic mutations had VAFs ≥ 10%. Our study shows targeted gene panel sequencing improves the diagnostic approach and accuracy for unexplained cytopenia, with its high sensitivity and high PPV for MDS when applying VAF cutoffs. Furthermore, a 41-gene panel was shown to have at least comparable performance characteristics to the large 640-gene panel.

AB - The diagnostic utility of somatic mutations in the context of cytopenias is unclear: clonal hematopoiesis can be found in healthy individuals, patients with aplastic anemia (AA), clonal cytopenia of undetermined significance (CCUS) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). We examined a cohort of 207 well-characterized cytopenic patients with a 640-gene next generation sequencing (NGS) panel and compared its diagnostic utility with a “virtual” 41 gene panel. The TET2, SF3B1, ASXL1, and TP53 were the most commonly mutated genes (frequency > 10%). Mutations in the 640-gene panel show high sensitivity (98.3%) but low specificity (47.6%) for diagnosis of MDS. Notably, mutations of splicing factors and genes in the RAS pathway are relatively specific to MDS. Furthermore, high variant allele frequency (VAF) predicts MDS: when the VAF is set at 20%, the positive predictive value (PPV) for MDS is 95.9%, with a specificity of 95.3%. The presence of two or more somatic mutations with ≥10% VAF showed a PPV of 95.2%. While the “virtual” 41-gene panel showed a mild decrease in sensitivity (95.7% vs 98.3%), 100% specificity was observed when either VAF was set at ≥20% (100% vs 95.3%), or two or more somatic mutations had VAFs ≥ 10%. Our study shows targeted gene panel sequencing improves the diagnostic approach and accuracy for unexplained cytopenia, with its high sensitivity and high PPV for MDS when applying VAF cutoffs. Furthermore, a 41-gene panel was shown to have at least comparable performance characteristics to the large 640-gene panel.

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