Improving diagnostic precision in primary ovarian insufficiency using comprehensive genetic and autoantibody testing.

Vogt EC, Bratland E, Berland S, Berentsen R, Lund A, Björnsdottir S, Husebye E, Øksnes M

Hum. Reprod. - (-) - [2023-11-09; online 2023-11-09]

Is it possible to find the cause of primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) in more women by extensive screening? Adding next generation sequencing techniques including a POI-associated gene panel, extended whole exome sequencing data, as well as specific autoantibody assays to the recommended diagnostic investigations increased the determination of a potential etiological diagnosis of POI from 11% to 41%. POI affects ∼1% of women. Clinical presentations and pathogenic mechanisms are heterogeneous and include genetic, autoimmune, and environmental factors, but the underlying etiology remains unknown in the majority of cases. Prospective cross-sectional study of 100 women with newly diagnosed POI of unknown cause consecutively referred to Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway, January 2019 to December 2021. In addition to standard recommended diagnostic investigations including screening for chromosomal anomalies and premutations in the fragile X mental retardation 1 gene (FMR1) we used whole exome sequencing, including targeted analysis of 103 ovarian-related genes, and assays of autoantibodies against steroid cell antigens. We identified chromosomal aberrations in 8%, FMR1 premutations in 3%, genetic variants related to POI in 16%, and autoimmune POI in 3%. Furthermore in 11% we identified POI associated genetic Variants of unknown signifcance (VUS). A homozygous pathogenic variant in the ZSWIM7 gene (NM_001042697.2) was found in two women, corroborating this as a novel cause of monogenic POI. No associations between phenotypes and genotypes were found. Use of candidate genetic and autoimmune markers limit the possibility to discover new markers. To further investigate the genetic variants, family studies would have been useful. We found a relatively high proportion of genetic variants in women from Africa and lack of genetic diversity in the genomic databases can impact diagnostic accuracy. Since no specific clinical or biochemical markers predicted the underlying cause of POI discussion of which tests should be part of diagnostic screening in clinical practice remains open. New technology has altered the availability and effectiveness of genetic testing, and cost-effectiveness analyses are required to aid sustainable diagnostics. The study was supported by grants and fellowships from Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen, the Novonordisk Foundation, the Norwegian Research Council, University of Bergen, and the Regional Health Authorities of Western Norway. The authors declare no conflict of interest. NCT04082169.

NGI Short read [Service]

NGI Stockholm (Genomics Production) [Service]

National Genomics Infrastructure [Service]

PubMed 37953503

DOI 10.1093/humrep/dead233

Crossref 10.1093/humrep/dead233

pii: 7404896 NCT04082169

Publications 9.5.0