Addressing the routine failure to clinically identify monogenic cases of common disease

Michael F. Murray, Muin J. Khoury, Noura S. Abul-Husn

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

1 Scopus citations


Changes in medical practice are needed to improve the diagnosis of monogenic forms of selected common diseases. This article seeks to focus attention on the need for universal genetic testing in common diseases for which the recommended clinical management of patients with specific monogenic forms of disease diverges from standard management and has evidence for improved outcomes. We review evidence from genomic screening of large patient cohorts, which has confirmed that important monogenic case identification failures are commonplace in routine clinical care. These case identification failures constitute diagnostic misattributions, where the care of individuals with monogenic disease defaults to the treatment plan offered to those with polygenic or non-genetic forms of the disease. The number of identifiable and actionable monogenic forms of common diseases is increasing with time. Here, we provide six examples of common diseases for which universal genetic test implementation would drive improved care. We examine the evidence to support genetic testing for common diseases, and discuss barriers to widespread implementation. Finally, we propose recommendations for changes to genetic testing and care delivery aimed at reducing diagnostic misattributions, to serve as a starting point for further evaluation and development of evidence-based guidelines for implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number60
JournalGenome Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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