Clinical geneticists' views of VACTERL/VATER association

Medical Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. .
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A (Impact Factor: 2.16). 12/2012; 158A(12). DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.a.35638
Source: PubMed


VACTERL association (sometimes termed "VATER association" depending on which component features are included) is typically defined by the presence of at least three of the following congenital malformations, which tend to statistically co-occur in affected individuals: Vertebral anomalies, Anal atresia, Cardiac malformations, Tracheo-Esophageal fistula, Renal anomalies, and Limb abnormalities. Although the clinical criteria for VACTERL association may appear to be straightforward, there is wide variability in the way clinical geneticists define the disorder and the genetic testing strategy they use when confronted with an affected patient. In order to describe this variability and determine the most commonly used definitions and testing modalities, we present the results of survey responses by 121 clinical geneticists. We discuss the results of the survey responses, provide a literature review and commentary from a group of physicians who are currently involved in clinical and laboratory-based research on VACTERL association, and offer an algorithm for genetic testing in patients with this association. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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    • "E-mail: Article first published online in Wiley Online Library ( 00 Month 2015 DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.37078 Ó 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. association [Solomon et al., 2012] "

    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A
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    • "Due to the abundance of overlapping defects in various organs, the scarcity of known causal factors and its heterogeneous phenotype, VACTERL association is typically considered a diagnosis of exclusion. In general, the diagnosis is made when at least 3 of the 6 associated core defects are present and all other phenotypical overlapping syndromes have been excluded [Solomon et al., 2012]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Copy number variations (CNVs), either DNA gains or losses, have been found at common regions throughout the human genome. Most CNVs neither have a pathogenic significance nor result in disease-related phenotypes but, instead, reflect the normal population variance. However, larger CNVs, which often arise de novo, are frequently associated with human disease. A genetic contribution has long been suspected in VACTERL (Vertebral, Anal, Cardiac, TracheoEsophageal fistula, Renal and Limb anomalies) association. The anomalies observed in this association overlap with several monogenetic conditions associated with mutations in specific genes, e.g. Townes Brocks (SALL1), Feingold syndrome (MYCN) or Fanconi anemia. So far VACTERL association has typically been considered a diagnosis of exclusion. Identifying recurrent or de novo genomic variations in individuals with VACTERL association could make it easier to distinguish VACTERL association from other syndromes and could provide insight into disease mechanisms. Sporadically, de novo CNVs associated with VACTERL are described in literature. In addition to this literature review of genomic variation in published VACTERL association patients, we describe CNVs present in 68 VACTERL association patients collected in our institution. De novo variations (>30 kb) are absent in our VACTERL association cohort. However, we identified recurrent rare CNVs which, although inherited, could point to mechanisms or biological processes contributing to this constellation of developmental defects.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Molecular syndromology
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with Fanconi anemia (FA) often have birth defects that suggest the diagnosis of VATER association. A review of 2,245 cases of FA reported in the literature from 1927 to 2012 identified 108 cases with at least 3 of the defining features of VATER association; only 29 had been so noted by the authors. The FA VATER signature was the significantly higher frequency of renal and limb (radial and/or thumb) anomalies (93% of cases had both) compared with less than 30% of VATER patients; the presence of one or both of these birth defects should lead to testing for FA. The relative frequencies of the genotypes of the patients with FA VATER were strikingly different from those expected from the general FA population; only 19% were FANCA, while 21% were FANCB, 14% FANCD1/BRCA2, and 12% FANCD2. Consistent with their genotypes, those with the FA VATER phenotype had a worse prognosis than FA patients with milder phenotypes, with shorter median survival and earlier onset of malignancies. The early identification of FA patients among infants with VATER association should lead to earlier more proactive management, such as cancer surveillance and genetic counseling.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Molecular syndromology
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