Krabbe Disease : GALC Sequencing

Test Information

GALC sequencing is a molecular test used to identify variants in the gene associated with Krabbe Disease.

Turnaround Time

3 weeks

CPT Code(s)

81406

Cost

$1,000

Genes

Clinical Information

Krabbe disease leads to the accumulation of galactosylceramide specifically in brain white matter, causing a neurological phenotype. Patients with the severe, infantile form of Krabbe disease will typically present by 3-6 months of age with rapidly progressive neurodegeneration, muscle rigidity, seizures, irritability, vomiting, and blindness and/or deafness. Approximately 10-15% of cases exhibit a milder, late onset clinical phenotype, with patients presenting with general weakness or stiffness, ataxia, vision loss, and some intellectual regression.

Indications

The enzyme assay for galactocerebrosidase activity is considered diagnostic for Krabbe Disease. However, the enzyme assay is not a reliable method for carrier detection. Molecular testing is useful to confirm the diagnosis and to identify the disease causing mutations within a family to allow for carrier testing and prenatal diagnosis.

Methodology

Sanger Sequencing

Detection

This analysis includes full sequencing of the coding region of the GALC gene as well as allele-specific PCR to detect the common 30 kb deletion in this gene. These two methods combined are expected to detect close to 100% of the abnormal alleles in individuals with a biochemical diagnosis.

Specimen Requirements

5 to 7 ml of peripheral blood collected in an EDTA (lavender top) tube is the preferred specimen type. The minimal blood needed for reliable DNA isolation is 3 ml. Extracted DNA, dried blood spots, and saliva are also accepted for this test.

Transport Instructions

The specimen should be kept at room temperature and delivered via overnight shipping. If shipment is delayed by one or two days, the specimen should be refrigerated and shipped at room temperature. Do not freeze the specimen. Samples collected on Friday can be safely designated for Monday delivery.

Prenatal Testing Information

Prenatal diagnosis is available if the familial mutations are known. Additional fees for cell culture and maternal cell contamination may apply. Maternal cell contamination studies are required for all prenatal molecular tests. Contact the laboratory prior to sending a prenatal specimen.

Have Questions Need Support?

Call our laboratory at 1-800-473-9411 or contact one of our Laboratory Genetic Counselors for assistance.
Robin Fletcher, MS, CGC
Kellie Walden, MS, CGC

Molecular Testing, Newborn Screening Follow-Up, Sanger Sequencing
One Mother's Story

One Mother's Story

After a long three-year struggle trying to have children, our son, Charlie, was born on April 18, 2009. He was our miracle...perfect in every way! When Charlie was five days old, our pediatrician called to notify us that one of the numbers from the heel prick test was a bit high. We headed to the hospital that afternoon for more tests. I will never forget the following day. It was cool and crisp - not a cloud in the sky....

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