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IMPORTANCE Exome sequencing (ES) has been established as the preferred first line of diagnostic testing for certain neurodevelopmental disorders, such as global developmental delay and autism spectrum disorder; however, current recommendations are not specific to or inclusive of congenital hydrocephalus (CH). OBJECTIVE To determine the diagnostic yield of ES in CH and whether ES should be considered as a first line diagnostic test for CH DATA SOURCES PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar were used to identify studies published in English between January 1, 2010, and April 10, 2023. The following search terms were used to identify studies: congenital hydrocephalus, ventriculomegaly, cerebral ventriculomegaly, primary ventriculomegaly, fetal ventriculomegaly, prenatal ventriculomegaly, molecular analysis, genetic cause, genetic etiology, genetic testing, exome sequencing, whole exome sequencing, genome sequencing, microarray, microarray analysis, and copy number variants. STUDY SELECTION Eligible studies included those with at least 10 probands with the defining feature of CH and/or severe cerebral ventriculomegaly that had undergone ES. Studies with fewer than 10 probands, studies of mild or moderate ventriculomegaly, and studies using genetic tests other than ES were excluded. A full-text review of 68 studies was conducted by 2 reviewers. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines were used by 2 reviewers to extract data. Data were synthesized using a random-effects model of single proportions. Data analysis occurred in April 2023. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcome was pooled diagnostic yield. Additional diagnostic yields were estimated for specific subgroups on the basis of clinical features, syndromic presentation, and parental consanguinity. For each outcome, a 95% CI and estimate of interstudy heterogeneity (I2 statistic) was reported. RESULTS From 498 deduplicated and screened records, 9 studies with a total of 538 CH probands were selected for final inclusion. The overall diagnostic yield was 37.9% (95% CI, 20.0%-57.4%; I2 = 90.1). The yield was lower for isolated and/or nonsyndromic cases (21.3%; 95% CI, 12.8%-31.0%; I2 = 55.7). The yield was higher for probands with reported consanguinity (76.3%; 95% CI, 65.1%-86.1%; I2 = 0) than those without (16.2%; 95% CI, 12.2%-20.5%; I2 = 0). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this systematic review and meta-analysis of the diagnostic yield of ES in CH, the diagnostic yield was concordant with that of previous recommendations for other neurodevelopmental disorders, suggesting that ES should also be recommended as a routine diagnostic adjunct for patients with CH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E2343384
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 22 2023


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