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Jacobsen syndrome

By Teresa Mattina, Concetta Simona Perrotta and Paul Grossfeld


Jacobsen syndrome is a MCA/MR contiguous gene syndrome caused by partial deletion of the long arm of chromosome 11. To date, over 200 cases have been reported. The prevalence has been estimated at 1/100,000 births, with a female/male ratio 2:1. The most common clinical features include pre- and postnatal physical growth retardation, psychomotor retardation, and characteristic facial dysmorphism (skull deformities, hypertelorism, ptosis, coloboma, downslanting palpebral fissures, epicanthal folds, broad nasal bridge, short nose, v-shaped mouth, small ears, low set posteriorly rotated ears). Abnormal platelet function, thrombocytopenia or pancytopenia are usually present at birth. Patients commonly have malformations of the heart, kidney, gastrointestinal tract, genitalia, central nervous system and skeleton. Ocular, hearing, immunological and hormonal problems may be also present. The deletion size ranges from ~7 to 20 Mb, with the proximal breakpoint within or telomeric to subband 11q23.3 and the deletion extending usually to the telomere. The deletion is de novo in 85% of reported cases, and in 15% of cases it results from an unbalanced segregation of a familial balanced translocation or from other chromosome rearrangements. In a minority of cases the breakpoint is at the FRA11B fragile site. Diagnosis is based on clinical findings (intellectual deficit, facial dysmorphic features and thrombocytopenia) and confirmed by cytogenetics analysis. Differential diagnoses include Turner and Noonan syndromes, and acquired thrombocytopenia due to sepsis. Prenatal diagnosis of 11q deletion is possible by amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling and cytogenetic analysis. Management is multi-disciplinary and requires evaluation by general pediatrician, pediatric cardiologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist. Auditory tests, blood tests, endocrine and immunological assessment and follow-up should be offered to all patients. Cardiac malformations can be very severe and require heart surgery in the neonatal period. Newborns with Jacobsen syndrome may have difficulties in feeding and tube feeding may be necessary. Special attention should be devoted due to hematological problems. About 20% of children die during the first two years of life, most commonly related to complications from congenital heart disease, and less commonly from bleeding. For patients who survive the neonatal period and infancy, the life expectancy remains unknown

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