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Pediatrics. 2008 Aug;122(2):e376-82. doi: 10.1542/peds.2007-2584. Epub 2008 Jul 14.

Neurobehavioral profile and brain imaging study of the 22q13.3 deletion syndrome in childhood.

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  • 1National Institute of Health and Medical Research and Department of Genetics, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France.



The 22q13.3 deletion syndrome (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man No. 606232) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that includes hypotonia, severely impaired development of speech and language, autistic-like behavior, and minor dysmorphic features. Although the number of reported cases is increasing, the 22q13.3 deletion remains underdiagnosed because of failure in recognizing the clinical phenotype and detecting the 22qter deletion by routine chromosome analyses. Our goal is to contribute to the description of the neurobehavioral phenotype and brain abnormalities of this microdeletional syndrome.


We assessed neuromotor, sensory, language, communication, and social development and performed cerebral MRI and study of regional cerebral blood flow measured by positron emission tomography in 8 children carrying the 22q13.3 deletion.


Despite variability in expression and severity, the children shared a common developmental profile characterized by hypotonia, sleep disorders, and poor response to their environment in early infancy; expressive language deficit contrasting with emergence of social reciprocity from ages approximately 3 to 5 years; sensory processing dysfunction; and neuromotor disorders. Brain MRI findings were normal or showed a thin or morphologically atypical corpus callosum. Positron emission tomography study detected a localized dysfunction of the left temporal polar lobe and amygdala hypoperfusion.


The developmental course of the 22q13.3 deletion syndrome belongs to pervasive developmental disorders but is distinct from autism. An improved description of the natural history of this syndrome should help in recognizing this largely underdiagnosed condition.

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