Improving diagnosis for congenital cataract by introducing NGS genetic testing

Mohammud Musleh, Jane Ashworth, Graeme Black, Georgina Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Childhood cataract (CC) has an incidence of 3.5 per 10,000 by age 15 years. Diagnosis of any underlying cause is important to ensure effective and prompt management of multisystem complications, to facilitate accurate genetic counselling and to streamline multidisciplinary care. Next generation sequencing (NGS) has been shown to be effective in providing an underlying diagnosis in 70% of patients with CC in a research setting. This project aimed to integrate NGS testing in CC within six months of presentation and increase the rate of diagnosis. A retrospective case note review was undertaken to define the baseline efficacy of current care in providing a precise diagnosis. Quality improvement methods were used to integrate and optimize NGS testing in clinical care and measure the improvements made. The percentage of children receiving an NGS result within six months increased from 26% to 71% during the project period. The mean time to NGS testing and receiving a report decreased and there was a reduction in variation over the study period. Several patients and families had a change in management or genetic counselling as a direct result of the diagnosis given by the NGS test. The current recommended investigation of patients with bilateral CC is ineffective in identifying a diagnosis. Quality Improvement methods have facilitated successful integration of NGS testing into clinical care, improving time to diagnosis and leading to development of a new care pathway.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Quality Improvement Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2016


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