Invitae Carney Complex Test


Test description

This test analyzes the PRKAR1A gene, which is the only gene associated with Carney complex. This rare condition is characterized by skin pigmentary abnormalities, myxomas, endocrine tumors, and schwannomas. These findings may be present at birth, although the median age of diagnosis is 20 years.

Genetic testing of this gene may confirm a diagnosis and help guide treatment and management decisions. Identification of a disease-causing variant would also guide testing and diagnosis of at-risk relatives. This test is specifically designed for heritable germline mutations and is not appropriate for the detection of somatic mutations in tumor tissue.

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Primary panel (1 gene)


Carney complex is a rare, often inherited condition that is characterized by myxomas (benign tumors of connective tissue), endocrine tumors, schwannomas, and skin pigmentary findings.

Features of this condition may be present at birth, but Carney complex is typically diagnosed in the second decade of life. Skin findings, specifically brown-to-black lentigines, are the most common presenting feature. Cardiac myxomas may occur at a young age. Primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD) is the most frequently observed endocrine tumor. The majority of affected individuals have multiple thyroid nodules, most of which are thyroid follicular adenomas. Approximately 10% of affected individuals develop a psammomatous melanotic schwannoma (PMS). Large-cell calcifying Sertoli cell tumors (LCCSCTs) are observed in nearly all affected males, with one-third diagnosed in the first decade of life. Carney complex is diagnosed based on specific clinical criteria or molecular genetic testing.

If a pathogenic variant is identified in the PRKAR1A gene, there is an increased risk of malignancy compared to the average person, but not everyone with such a variant will actually develop cancer. Further, the same variant can present differently, even among individuals within the same family. Because we cannot predict which cancers may develop, most individuals who are found to have a pathogenic variant will be offered various screening tests to detect and prevent cancer. For gene-associated tumor risks, see the table below.

Tumor typeRisk
Cardiac myxomas Unknown
Primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease Unknown
Psammomatous melanotic schwannoma (PMS) 10%
Large-cell calcifying Sertoli cell tumors (LCCSCTs) Nearly 100% in males

Analysis of the PRKAR1A gene identifies a pathogenic variant in approximately 60%–70% in individuals who meet clinical diagnostic criteria.

Carney complex is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Most cases are inherited from a parent, but approximately 30% are the result of a spontaneous de novo mutation.

The prevalence of Carney complex is currently unknown and appears to be rare.

Analysis of the PRKAR1A gene may be considered in individuals with a personal and/or family history of:

  • spotty skin pigmentation with typical distribution (lips, conjunctiva and inner or outer canthi, vaginal and penile mucosal)
  • myxoma (cutaneous, mucosal, or cardiac)
  • breast myxomatosis or breast ductal adenoma
  • primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD)
  • acromegaly as a result of growth hormone (GH)-producing adenoma
  • large-cell calcifying Sertoli cell tumor (LCCSCT)
  • thyroid carcinoma or multiple, hypoechoic nodules in a child younger than 18 years
  • psammomatous melanotic schwannomas (PMS)
  • blue nevus, epithelioid blue nevus
  • osteochondromyxoma
  • an affected first-degree relative

Clinical diagnostic criteria for Carney complex have been proposed:

Assay and technical information

Invitae is a College of American Pathologists (CAP)-accredited and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified clinical diagnostic laboratory performing full-gene sequencing and deletion/duplication analysis using next-generation sequencing technology (NGS).

Our sequence analysis covers clinically important regions of each gene, including coding exons, +/- 10 base pairs of adjacent intronic sequence, and select noncoding variants. Our assay provides a Q30 quality-adjusted mean coverage depth of 350x (50x minimum, or supplemented with additional analysis). Variants classified as pathogenic or likely pathogenic are confirmed with orthogonal methods, except individual variants that have high quality scores and previously validated in at least ten unrelated samples.

Our analysis detects most intragenic deletions and duplications at single exon resolution. However, in rare situations, single-exon copy number events may not be analyzed due to inherent sequence properties or isolated reduction in data quality. If you are requesting the detection of a specific single-exon copy number variation, please contact Client Services before placing your order.

Gene Transcript reference Sequencing analysis Deletion/Duplication analysis
PRKAR1A NM_002734.4