CNVxplorer: a web tool to assist clinical interpretation of CNVs in rare disease patients

Francisco Requena, Hamza Hadj Abdallah, Alejandro García, Patrick Nitschké, Sergi Romana, Valérie Malan, Antonio Rausell

Source : medRxiv

2021 mar 19

Pmid :


Copy Number Variants (CNVs) are an important cause of rare diseases. Array-based Comparative Genomic Hybridization tests yield a ~12% diagnostic rate, with ~8% of patients presenting CNVs of unknown significance. CNVs interpretation is particularly challenging on genomic regions outside of those overlapping with previously reported structural variants or disease-associated genes. Recent studies showed that a more comprehensive evaluation of CNV features, leveraging both coding and non-coding impacts can significantly improve diagnostic rates. However, currently available CNV interpretation tools are mostly gene-centric or provide only non-interactive annotations difficult to assess in the clinical practice. Here we present CNVxplorer, a web server suited for the functional assessment of CNVs in a clinical diagnostic setting. CNVxplorer mines a comprehensive set of clinical, genomic, and epigenomic features associated with CNVs. It provides sequence constraint metrics, impact on regulatory elements and topologically associating domains, as well as expression patterns. Analyses offered cover (a) agreement with patient phenotypes; (b) visualizations of associations among genes, regulatory elements and transcription factors; (c) enrichment on functional and pathway annotations; and (d) co-occurrence of terms across PubMed publications related to the query CNVs. A flexible evaluation workflow allows dynamic re-interrogation in clinical sessions. CNVxplorer is publicly available at

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