BACKGROUND:Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) is an inherited recessive condition associated with extremely high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in affected individuals. It is usually caused by homozygous or compound heterozygous functional mutations in the LDL receptor (LDLR). A number of mutations causing FH have been reported in literature and such genetic heterogeneity presents great challenges for disease diagnosis. OBJECTIVE:We aim to determine the likely genetic defects responsible for three cases of pediatric HoFH in two kindreds. METHODS:We applied whole exome sequencing (WES) on the two probands to determine the likely functional variants among candidate FH genes. We additionally applied 10x Genomics (10xG) Linked-Reads whole genome sequencing (WGS) on one of the kindreds to identify potentially deleterious structural variants (SVs) underlying HoFH. A PCR-based screening assay was also established to detect the LDLR structural variant in a cohort of 641 patients with elevated LDL. RESULTS:In the Caucasian kindred, the FH homozygosity can be attributed to two compound heterozygous LDLR damaging variants, an exon 12 p.G592E missense mutation and a novel 3kb exon 1 deletion. By analyzing the 10xG phased data, we ascertained that this deletion allele was most likely to have originated from a Russian ancestor. In the Mexican kindred, the strikingly elevated LDL cholesterol level can be attributed to a homozygous frameshift LDLR variant p.E113fs. CONCLUSIONS:While the application of WES can provide a cost-effective way of identifying the genetic causes of FH, it often lacks sensitivity for detecting structural variants. Our finding of the LDLR exon 1 deletion highlights the broader utility of Linked-Read WGS in detecting SVs in the clinical setting, especially when HoFH patients remain undiagnosed after WES.