MÆDICA - a Journal of Clinical Medicine | Vol. 11, nr. 3, 2016
ISSN 1841-9038  |  e-ISSN 2069-6116
ISSN-L 1841-9038


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Does the Genetic Cause of Prader-Willi Syndrome Explain the Highly Variable Phenotype?

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Introduction: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is characterized by extensive clinical and genetic variability caused by lack of expression of imprinted genes of the chromosomal region 15q11.2-q13. The genotye-phenotype correlation has not been yet fully elucidated.
Aim: To analyze these correlations in order to determine the role of specific geneic alterations in the development of clinical symptoms in PWS.
Material and method: We retrospectively analyzed data routinely collected as part of the clinical care of 52 patients with clinical suspicion of PWS. FISH test was performed in all patients; in case of negative results, methylation test was performed.
Results: PWS was confirmed in 35 patients that were divided in two groups according to the genetic cause of PWS: group A-21 patients with 15q11-q13 region deletion, mean age at evaluation 8.1 years (SD= 5.6) and mean of clinical score 9.4 ± 1.8; group B-14 patients with positive methylation test, with mean age at evaluation 6.7 years (SD= 4.6) and mean of clinical score 10.1 ± 1.9. Facial dysmorphism and neonatal hypotonia were present in all evaluated patients; while, higher frequency of major and minor PWS criteria were noted in the group A. Onset of hyperphagia, was around the age of 2 years in most patients, however one patient from group B had normal eating behavior and normal weight beyond age 5 years.
Conclusion: In our study, the various genotypes did not seem to explain the diff erence in phenotype in PWS patients. We found a delayed time until diagnosis in these patients, although all had neonatal hypotonia and other suggestive phenotypic features, underlining once more the need for increased awareness of this syndrome, as well as easier accessibility to genetic counseling.
Keywords: Prader Willi syndrome, hyperphagia, obesity, genotype, chromosome 15, uniparental disomy

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