Genetic profiling of autoinflammatory disorders in patients with periodic fever: A prospective study

Carlo De Pieri, Josef Vuch, Eleonora De Martino, Anna M. Bianco, Luca Ronfani, Emmanouil Athanasakis, Barbara Bortot, Sergio Crovella, Andrea Taddio, Giovanni M. Severini, Alberto Tommasini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Periodic fever syndromes (PFS) are an emerging group of autoinflammatory disorders. Clinical overlap exists and multiple genetic analyses may be needed to assist diagnosis. We evaluated the diagnostic value of a 5-gene sequencing panel (5GP) in patients with undiagnosed PFS. Methods: Simultaneous double strand Sanger sequencing of MEFV, MVK, TNFRSF1A, NLRP3, NLRP12 genes was performed in 42 patients with unexplained PFS. Clinical features were correlated with genetic results. Results: None of 42 patients analyzed displayed a causative genotype. However, single or multiple genetic variants of uncertain significance were detected in 24 subjects. Only in 5 subjects a definite diagnosis was made by taking into account both genetic and clinical data (2 TRAPS syndrome; 2 FMF; 1 FCAS). Statistical analysis showed that patients carrying genetic variants in one or more of the five selected genes displayed a significantly lower response to glucocorticoids compared with subjects who had completely negative genetic results. Conclusions: The sequencing of multiple genes is of little help in the diagnostics of PFS and can often lead to results of uncertain interpretation, thus the clinically driven sequencing of single genes should remain the recommended approach. However, the presence of single or multiple genetic variants of uncertain significance, even if not allowing any specific diagnosis, correlated with a poorer response to glucocorticoids, possibly indicating a multifactorial subgroup of PFS with differential response to pharmacological treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalPediatric Rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 10 2015


  • Auto-inflammatory diseases
  • Genetics
  • Periodic fever syndromes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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