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Challenges and opportunities for integrating genetic testing into a diagnostic workflow: heritable long QT syndrome as a model

Authors
  • Lubin, Ira M.1
  • Lockhart, Edward R.1
  • Frank, Julie2
  • See, Vincent Y.2
  • Vashist, Sudhir2
  • Greene, Carol2
  • 1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA , (United States)
  • 2 University of Maryland School of Medicine, MD , (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Diagnosis
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Jul 09, 2019
Volume
8
Issue
1
Pages
17–26
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/dx-2019-0018
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

BackgroundAn increasing number of diagnostic evaluations incorporate genetic testing to facilitate accurate and timely diagnoses. The increasing number and complexity of genetic tests continue to pose challenges in deciding when to test, selecting the correct test(s), and using results to inform medical diagnoses, especially for medical professionals lacking genetic expertise. Careful consideration of a diagnostic workflow can be helpful in understanding the appropriate uses of genetic testing within a broader diagnostic workup.ContentThe diagnosis of long QT syndrome (LQTS), a life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia, provides an example for this approach. Electrocardiography is the preferred means for diagnosing LQTS but can be uninformative for some patients due to the variable presentation of the condition. Family history and genetic testing can augment physiological testing to inform a diagnosis and subsequent therapy. Clinical and laboratory professionals informed by peer- reviewed literature and professional recommendations constructed a generalized LQTS diagnostic workflow. This workflow served to explore decisions regarding the use of genetic testing for diagnosing LQTS.Summary and outlookUnderstanding the complexities and approaches to integrating genetic testing into a broader diagnostic evaluation is anticipated to support appropriate test utilization, optimize diagnostic evaluation, and facilitate a multidisciplinary approach essential for achieving accurate and timely diagnoses.

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