Tay-Sachs Disease (HEXA), 7 Variants
Ordering Recommendation

Confirm common pathogenic and pseudodeficiency HEXA variants in individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish and French-Canadian descent with abnormal levels of HexA enzyme. For initial testing of Tay-Sachs disease, refer to Hexosaminidase A percent and Total Hexosaminidase in Leukocytes (2008125).

Polymerase Chain Reaction/Fluorescence Monitoring
Tue, Fri
5-10 days
New York DOH Approval Status
This test is New York DOH approved.
Submit With Order
ARUP Consult®
Disease Topics
Specimen Required
Patient Preparation
Lavender (EDTA), pink (K2EDTA), or yellow (ACD Solution A or B). 
Specimen Preparation
Transport 3 mL whole blood. (Min: 1 mL) 
Storage/Transport Temperature
Unacceptable Conditions
Specimens collected in sodium heparin or lithium heparin tubes. 
Ambient: 72 hours; Refrigerated: 2 weeks; Frozen: 1 month 
Reference Interval
By report
Interpretive Data
Background information for Tay-Sachs Disease (HEXA), 7 Variants:
Tay-Sachs disease is a lysosomal storage disease that, in the most severe childhood-onset form, leads to a loss of motor skills beginning at 3- to 6-months of age and progresses to blindness, seizures, total incapacitation, and eventual death by 4 years of age. Adult-onset Tay-Sachs is a milder disease with later onset and slower progression. In adults, Tay-Sachs disease is associated with variable neurological findings, including progressive dystonia, spinocerebellar degeneration, motor neuron disease, and bipolar form of psychosis.
1 in 3000 Ashkenazi Jewish individuals.
Autosomal recessive.
HEXA gene pathogenic variants.
Variants Tested:
Four pathogenic 7.6kb del, c.1073+1G>A, p.Y427Ifs (c.1274_1277dup TATC), c.1421+1G>C; one mild pathogenic p.G269S (c.805G>A); and two pseudodeficiency alleles p.R247W (c.739C>T) and p.R249W (c.745C>T).
Clinical Sensitivity:
94 percent in Ashkenazi Jewish individuals, 59 percent in other ethnicities.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and fluorescence monitoring.
Analytical Sensitivity and Specificity:
Greater than 99 percent.
HEXA variants other than those specified above will not be detected. Diagnostic errors can occur due to rare sequence variations.

Statement C: Compliance Statement C: For human genetic inheritable conditions and mutations. This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by ARUP Laboratories. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved or cleared this test; however, FDA clearance or approval is not currently required for clinical use. The results are not intended to be used as the sole means for clinical diagnosis or patient management decisions.

Counseling and informed consent are recommended for genetic testing. Consent forms are available online.

Hotline History
Component Test Code*Component Chart NameLOINC
0051430Tay-Sachs Disease (HEXA), Allele 138900-7
0051431Tay-Sachs Disease (HEXA), Allele 238900-7
0051432Tay-Sachs Disease (HEXA), Interpretation51773-0
2001315Tay-Sachs Disease (HEXA), Specimen31208-2
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please view this test within the Laboratory Test Directory found at www.aruplab.com
  • Hexosaminidase A
  • Hexosaminidase A Deficiency DNA assay
  • TSD molecular assay