Next-generation sequencing (NGS)–based assays are used for diagnosis of diverse inherited disorders. Limited data are available pertaining to interlaboratory analytical performance of these assays.


To report on the College of American Pathologists (CAP) NGS Germline Program, which is methods based, and explore the evolution in laboratory testing practices.


Results from the NGS Germline Program from 2016–2020 were analyzed for interlaboratory analytical performance. Self-reported laboratory testing practices were also evaluated.


From 2016–2020, a total of 297 laboratories participated in at least 1 program mailing. Of the 289 laboratories that provided information on tests offered, 138 (47.8%) offered only panel testing throughout their enrollment, while 35 (12.1%) offered panels and exome testing, 30 (10.4%) offered only exomes, 9 (3.1%) offered only genomes, and 15 (5.2%) offered panels, exomes, and genomes. The remainder (62 laboratories, 21.4%) changed their test offerings during the 2016–2020 timeframe. Considering each genomic position/interval, the median detection percentage at variant positions across the 2016–2020 mailings ranged from 94.3% to 100%, while at reference positions (no variant detected), the median correct response percentage was 100% across all mailings. When considering performance of individual laboratories, 89.5% (136 of 152) to 98.0% (149 of 152) of laboratories successfully met the detection threshold (≥90% of the variants present), while 94.6% (87 of 92) to 100% (163 of 163) of laboratories met the 95% specificity threshold across mailings.


Since the inception of this program, laboratories have consistently performed well. The median sensitivity and specificity of detection of sequence variants included in this program (eg, single nucleotide variants, insertions, and deletions) were 100.0%.

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Author notes

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Tsuchiya is currently located at the Institute for Genomic Medicine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio. Halley is currently located in the Learning Department at the College of American Pathologists, Northfield, Illinois; Zhao is currently located at Nutrien in Loveland, Colorado.

Competing Interests

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

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