Nikolaj Worm Ørntoft

Unexplained cholestasis in adults and adolescents: diagnostic benefit of genetic examination

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OBJECTIVES: A few adult and adolescent patients with even severe cholestatic liver disease remain unexplained after standard diagnostic work-up. We studied the value of genetic examination in such patients and developed a panel of eight genes with known cholestatic associations.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-three patients with unexplained cholestasis despite a thorough clinical work-up were examined for sequence variations in the coding regions of the ABCB4, ABCB11, ABCC2, ABCG5, ATP8B1, JAG1, NOTCH2, and UGT1A1 genes and the promoter region of UGT1A1 by massive parallel sequencing of DNA extracted from whole blood. Hepatologists and clinical geneticists evaluated the causal potential of genetic variants.

RESULTS: In 9/33 patients (27%), we identified genetic variants as a certain causal factor and in further 9/33 (27%) variants as a possible contributing factor. In most cases, a detailed family history was necessary to establish the importance of genetic variants. Genetic causes were identified in 6/13 women (46%) with intrahepatic cholestasis during pregnancy and persisting abnormal biochemistry after delivery.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that a small number of well-known genetic variants are involved in at least 27-54% of patients with unexplained cholestasis. An expanded panel will likely explain more cases. This motivates genetic testing of these patients. Genetic testing, however, cannot stand alone but should be combined with a clinical genetic work-up in collaboration between hepatologists and clinical geneticists.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Sider (fra-til)305-311
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 5 jan. 2018

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