Detection of NRAS mutation in cell-free DNA biological fluids from patients with kaposiform lymphangiomatosis

Michio Ozeki, Yoko Aoki, Akifumi Nozawa, Shiho Yasue, Saori Endo, Yumiko Hori, Kentaro Matsuoka, Tetsuya Niihori, Ryo Funayama, Matsuyuki Shirota, Keiko Nakayama, Toshiyuki Fukao

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Kaposiform lymphangiomatosis (KLA) has recently been distinguished as a novel subtype of generalized lymphatic anomaly (GLA) with foci of spindle endothelial cells. All cases of KLA involve multiple organs and have an unfavorable prognosis. However, the molecular pathogenesis is unknown, and there are no useful biomarkers. In the present study, we performed genetic analysis to elucidate the cause of this disease and detect biomarkers for it. Methods: We performed whole-exome sequencing of DNA samples from leukocytes and a biopsy specimen and analyzed cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from plasma and pleural effusion of patients to identify the NRAS c.182A > G (p.Q61R) mutation using the droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR). Results: All KLA patients (patients 1-5) had invasive and aggressive features (hemorrhagic pleural effusions, coagulation disorder, and thrombocytopenia) and characteristic findings of KLA in their pathological examinations. In whole exome sequencing for patient 1, c.182A > G missense variant (p.Q61R) in NRAS was identified in fresh frozen samples of a mass on the left chest wall at a frequency of 5% of total alleles but not in his blood leukocytes. Furthermore, the same mutation was detected in cfDNA isolated from plasma and pleural effusion by using ddPCR. ddPCR analysis of plasma/pleural effusion samples from an additional four KLA patients showed that the same mutation was detected in isolated cfDNA in three of the four, as well as in a tissue sample from one of the three plasma/effusion-positive patients that had been obtained to confirm the mutation. Conclusion: These results provide the first evidence that NRAS oncogenic variant was identified in DNA samples from KLA patients from not only two affected lesions but also plasma and pleural effusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number215
JournalOrphanet journal of rare diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 11


  • Cell-free DNA
  • Kaposiform lymphangiomatosis
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Neuroblastoma RAS viral oncogene homolog
  • Vascular anomaly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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