Clinical experience of next generation sequencing based expanded carrier screening in high-risk couples from a tertiary healthcare center in Pakistan

Document Type



Women and Child Health; Paediatrics and Child Health


Introduction: Carrier screening for genetic conditions has long been a part of preconception and prenatal care. While the use of expanded carrier screening (ECS) is widely common in HICs (high income countries), the clinical actionability of ECS in LMICs (low middle income countries) with high consanguineous unions is not well-understood.
Method: Retrospective chart review of couples who presented to the Prenatal Genetics Clinic at Aga Khan University Hospital, between the period of June 2018 and November 2022. All the statistical analyses were performed using the statistical software STATA version 17.0.
Results: Of the 202 individuals tested, 166 (82%) were identified to be carriers of at least one gene associated with a monogenic condition. Out of the 302 genes tested, individuals were found to be carriers of conditions associated with 87 genes. Clinical actionability of ECS was established in a total of 45 (45%) high risk couples undergoing screening using ECS.
Conclusion: We report the first clinical experience of using next generation sequencing based ECS in 101 high-risk couples seeking consultation in the Genetics Clinic, at a tertiary healthcare center in Pakistan, showing that over 80% high-risk individuals are carriers of at least one condition and 45% of couples receive an actionable result to making autonomous informed reproductive decisions in future pregnancies.


Volume, issue and pagination are not provided by author/publisher

Publication (Name of Journal)

Prenatal Diagnosis