Article Title

Informing a value care model: Lessons from an integrated adult neurogenomics clinic


Background: Advances in genomics provide improved opportunities for diagnosis of complex neurogenetic disorders, yet the optimal approach to translate these benefits to the outpatient clinic is unclear.

Aims: We retrospectively reviewed referral indications and outcomes of an integrated multidisciplinary team (MDT) clinic pathway for adults with suspected neurogenetic disorders. The associated cost implications were estimated.

Methods: Consecutive patients who attended the neurogenomics clinic from January 2017 to April 2020 were included. The clinic comprised neurologists, clinical geneticists and genetic counsellors, who assessed each patient concurrently.

Results: Ninety-nine new patients were referred spanning 45 different clinical diagnoses. Following MDT clinical assessment, 23% (23/99) of referral diagnoses were revised prior to molecular testing. Eighty-one patients (82%) underwent genetic testing, including 43 exome-based panels, 15 whole-genome sequencing, 14 single gene tests, 27 repeat-primed polymerase chain reaction testing and two chromosomal microarrays. Overall, 33/99 patients (33%) received a diagnosis, either a molecular diagnosis (n = 24, of which 22 were diagnostic and two were predictive) or a clinical diagnosis (n = 9). Of the clinical diagnosis cohort, five patients received a diagnosis without molecular testing and four patients whose negative testing (one diagnostic and three predictive) allowed exclusion of genetic differentials and, hence, confirmation of clinical diagnoses. The diagnostic rate following MDT and diagnostic testing was 30% (28/94), excluding the five predictive testing cases. MDT assessment aligned with eventual molecular diagnoses in 96% of cases. The estimated average costs were AU $1386 per patient undergoing MDT assessment and AU$4159 per diagnosis achieved.

Conclusions: We present an integrated multidisciplinary neurogenomics clinic pathway providing a diagnostic yield of 33% (30% excluding predictive testing cases), with costing implications. The relatively high diagnostic yield may be attributed to multidisciplinary input integrating accurate phenotyping of complex disorders and interpretation of genomic findings.


Neurogenomics, neurogenetics, multidisciplinary clinic, patient-centred, diagnostic odyssey, diagnostic yield

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