Copy number variation in a hospital-based cohort of children with epilepsy

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Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic yield of microarray analysis in a hospital-based cohort of children with seizures and to identify novel candidate genes and susceptibility loci for epilepsy.

Methods: Of all children who presented with their first seizure in the University Medical Center Groningen (January 2000 through May 2013) (n = 1,368), we included 226 (17%) children who underwent microarray analysis before June 2014. All 226 children had a definite diagnosis of epilepsy. All their copy number variants (CNVs) on chromosomes 1-22 and X that contain protein-coding genes and have a prevalence of <1% in healthy controls were evaluated for their pathogenicity.

Results: Children selected for microarray analysis more often had developmental problems (82% vs. 25%, p < 0.001), facial dysmorphisms (49% vs. 8%, p < 0.001), or behavioral problems (41% vs. 13%, p < 0.001) than children who were not selected. We found known clinically relevant CNVs for epilepsy in 24 of the 226 children (11%). Seventeen of these 24 children had been diagnosed with symptomatic focal epilepsy not otherwise specified (71%) and five with West syndrome (21%). Of these 24 children, many had developmental problems (100%), behavioral problems (54%) or facial dysmorphisms (46%). We further identified five novel CNVs comprising four potential candidate genes for epilepsy:MYT1L, UNC5D, SCN4B,andNRXN3.

Significance: The 11% yield in our hospital-based cohort underscores the importance of microarray analysis in diagnostic evaluation of children with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-254
Number of pages11
Journalepilepsia open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2017


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