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Am J Med Genet. 2002 Jan 22;107(3):209-13.

Wiedemann-Beckwith syndrome: further prenatal characterization of the condition.

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  • 1Genetic Institute, Assaf Harofeh, Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel.


We describe three unrelated cases of Wiedemann-Beckwith syndrome (WBS). Two of them were diagnosed postnatally while the third was detected during pregnancy that resulted in elective termination. Amniotic karyotypes were normal in all. PCR amplification of polymorphic loci mapping to 11p15.5 region documented partial trisomy of 11p15.5 due to paternal translocation in one, and segmental and mosaic segmental unipaternal disomy (UPD) in the second and third cases, respectively. Based on findings documented in these cases and the literature, we tabulated the anomalies that might be detected prenatally by ultrasound and that may suggest the syndrome. Constant findings included fetal overgrowth, polyhydramios, enlarged placenta, and specifically a distended abdomen. As most described signs developed after 22 weeks of gestation, a careful follow-up should be carried on until late stages of pregnancy. An amniotic karyotype might not detect subtle chromosomal rearrangements. We therefore recommend utilizing PCR of polymorphic loci on 11p15.5, in addition to conventional cytogenetic analysis of the fetus and both parents to detect possible maternal deletions or inversions, paternal duplications, and UPD that may account for the largest subset of sporadic WBS reaching 25% of cases. An early diagnosis of WBS is important for counseling the parents concerning potential risk for developing embryonic tumors, selection of the mode of delivery due to potential adrenal cysts that might bleed during labor, and prevention of neonatal hypoglycemia.

Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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