Recommendations for Interpreting and Reporting Silent Carrier and Disease-Modifying Variants in SMA Testing Workflows
Genetic testing for SMA diagnosis, newborn screening, and carrier screening has become a significant public health interest worldwide, driven largely by the development of novel and effective molecular therapies for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and the corresponding updates to testing guidelines. Concurrently, understanding of the underlying genetics of SMA and their correlation with a broad range of phenotypes and risk factors has also advanced, particularly with respect to variants that modulate disease severity or impact residual carrier risks. While testing guidelines are beginning to emphasize the importance of these variants, there are no clear guidelines on how to utilize them in a real-world setting. Given the need for clarity in practice, this review summarizes several clinically relevant variants in the SMN1 and SMN2 genes, including how they inform outcomes for spinal muscular atrophy carrier risk and disease prognosis.
Authors: John N. Milligan, Laura Blasco-Pérez, Mar Costa-Roger, Marta Codina-Solà, and Eduardo F. Tizzano