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Distal myopathies are a heterogeneous group of muscle diseases sharing the clinical pattern of predominant weakness in the feet and/or hands. The classical approach for molecular diagnosis is based on targeted gene-by-gene analysis guided by currently existing combinatorial algorithms.1 Many patients remain undiagnosed. Within the last 5 years, next-generation sequencing (NGS) has emerged as a successful and rapid approach to simultaneously analyse multiple genes in neuromuscular disorders.2 Our objective was to evaluate the efficiency of a targeted NGS approach using a panel of neuromuscular genes on patients with distal myopathies. We first tested its validity in a control group of six index cases (IC) with known molecular diagnosis. Then, we prospectively evaluated this approach by testing a group of 17 IC without molecular diagnosis.
Subjects and methods
We prospectively included 54 patients (37 IC and 17 relatives) with a diagnosis of distal myopathy, followed at the Neuromuscular Diseases and ALS Reference Centre of La Timone Hospital, Marseille, France, between 1989 and 2014. Among these 37 IC previously explored by Sanger sequencing, 20 IC had an identified molecular diagnosis: six IC constituted the control group. The remaining 17 undiagnosed IC constituted the test group. A targeted-NGS approach was used to search mutations in 298 neuromuscular genes in both groups. Samples analysed in this study have been prepared and stored by the Center of Biological Resources, Department of Medical Genetics, La Timone Hospital, Marseille, and used following the ethical recommendations of our institution and according to the Declaration of Helsinki. All included patients gave their written consent prior to …