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J Med Case Rep. 2007 Dec 3;1:167.

Seizures as the first manifestation of chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome in a 40-year old man: a case report.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.



The microdeletion of chromosome 22q11.2 is the most common human deletion syndrome. It typically presents early in life and is rarely considered in adult patients. As part of the manifestations of this condition, patients can have parathyroid glandular involvement ranging from hypocalcemic hypoparathyroidism to normocalcemia with normal parathryroid hormone levels. The first manifestation of the syndrome might be seizures due to profound hypocalcemia.


A 40-year-old man without significant past medical history presented with a new-onset generalized tonic-clonic seizure. He had no personal history of hypocalcemia or seizures. Physical examination was remarkable for short stature, hypertelorism, prominent forehead and nasal voice. His initial laboratory examination showed hypocalcemia (Calcium 5.2 mg/dl and Calcium ionized 0.69 mmol/l) with hypoparathyroidism (Parathyroid hormone intact < 2.5 pg/ml. NV: 14-72 pg/ml). Urine Calcium was 3 mg/dl on a spot and 88 mg in a 24-hour urine collection (NV: 100-300 mg/24 hs). The electrocardiogram showed a prolonged corrected QT interval. Echocardiogram, abdominal ultrasound and electroencephalogram were normal. A computer tomography of the brain showed basal ganglia calcification. The subtle physical findings and the presence of idiopathic hypoparathyroidism motivated the performance of fluorescent in situ hybridization which demonstrated a microdeletion on one of the homologs 22q11.2. The patient was treated with calcium citrate and calcitriol with good response.


Microdeletion of chromosome 22q11.2 is among the most clinically variable syndromes, with more than 180 features associated with the deletion. It has a variable phenotypical expression, requiring a high level of awareness for its early diagnosis. Seizures, related to marked hypocalcemia due to idiopathic hypoparathyroidism, might be the presenting feature in an adult patient with this syndrome.

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