Craniosynostosis, the premature fusion of the cranial sutures, affects ~1 in 2000 children. Although many patients with a genetically determined cause harbor a variant in one of just seven genes or have a chromosomal abnormality, over 60 genes are known to be recurrently mutated, thus comprising a long tail of rarer diagnoses. Genome sequencing for the diagnosis of rare diseases is increasingly used in clinical settings, but analysis of the data is labor intensive and involves a trade-off between achieving high sensitivity or high precision. PanelApp, a crowd-sourced disease-focused set of gene panels, was designed to enable prioritization of variants in known disease genes for a given pathology, allowing enhanced identification of true-positives. For heterogeneous disorders like craniosynostosis, these panels must be regularly updated to ensure that diagnoses are not being missed. We provide a systematic review of genetic literature on craniosynostosis over the last 5 years, including additional results from resequencing a 42-gene panel in 617 affected individuals. We identify 16 genes (representing a 25% uplift) that should be added to the list of bona fide craniosynostosis disease genes and discuss the insights that these new genes provide into pathophysiological mechanisms of craniosynostosis.
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