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Br J Haematol. 2003 Aug;122(4):682-5.

McLeod syndrome resulting from a novel XK mutation.

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Bristol Institute for Transfusion Sciences, Southmead Road, Bristol BS10 5ND, UK.


McLeod Syndrome (MLS) is a rare X-linked disorder characterized by haemopoietic abnormalities and late-onset neurological and muscular defects. The McLeod blood group phenotype is typically associated with erythrocyte acanthocytosis, absence of the Kx antigen and reduced expression of Kell system antigens. MLS is caused by hemizygosity for mutations in the XK gene. We describe a patient with MLS who first showed symptoms in 1989 (aged 51 years). As the disease progressed, the patient developed a slight dementia, aggressive behaviour and choreatic movements. A cardiomyopathy was also diagnosed. An electroneuromyography showed neuropathic and myopathic changes. Liver enzymes were elevated and a blood smear showed acanthocytes. MLS was confirmed by serological analysis of the Kell antigens. Analysis of red blood cells by flow cytometry revealed the patient and his grandson to have reduced Kell antigen expression. The patient's daughters had two populations of red cells, consistent with them being heterozygous for an XK0 allele. The molecular basis of MLS in this family is a novel mutation consisting of a 7453-bp deletion that includes exon 2 of the XK gene. This confirms that the patient's 7-year-old grandson, who is currently asymptomatic, also has the XK0 allele and is therefore likely to develop MLS.

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