Best practice guidelines on genetic diagnostics of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy: Update of the 2012 guidelines

Emiliano Giardina, Pilar Camaño, Sarah Burton-Jones, Gina Ravenscroft, Franclo Henning, Frederique Magdinier, Nienke van der Stoep, Patrick J. van der Vliet, Rafaëlle Bernard, Pedro J. Tomaselli, Mark R. Davis, Ichizo Nishino, Piraye Oflazer, Valerie Race, Venugopalan Y. Vishnu, Victoria Williams, Cláudia F.R. Sobreira, Silvere M. van der Maarel, Steve A. Moore, Nicol C. VoermansRichard J.L.F. Lemmers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The gold standard for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) genetic diagnostic procedures was published in 2012. With the increasing complexity of the genetics of FSHD1 and 2, the increase of genetic testing centers, and the start of clinical trials for FSHD, it is crucial to provide an update on our knowledge of the genetic features of the FSHD loci and renew the international consensus on the molecular testing recommendations. To this end, members of the FSHD European Trial Network summarized the evidence presented during the 2022 ENMC meeting on Genetic diagnosis, clinical outcome measures, and biomarkers. The working group additionally invited genetic and clinical experts from the USA, India, Japan, Australia, South-Africa, and Brazil to provide a global perspective. Six virtual meetings were organized to reach consensus on the minimal requirements for genetic confirmation of FSHD1 and FSHD2. Here, we present the clinical and genetic features of FSHD, specific features of FSHD1 and FSHD2, pros and cons of established and new technologies (Southern blot in combination with either linear or pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, molecular combing, optical genome mapping, FSHD2 methylation analysis and FSHD2 genotyping), the possibilities and challenges of prenatal testing, including pre-implantation genetic testing, and the minimal requirements and recommendations for genetic confirmation of FSHD1 and FSHD2. This consensus is expected to contribute to current clinical management and trial-readiness for FSHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-26
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Genetics
Issue number1
Early online date29 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2024


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