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J Med Genet. 2011 May;48(5):299-307. doi: 10.1136/jmg.2011.089680.

Genomic alterations that contribute to the development of isolated and non-isolated congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a life threatening birth defect. Most of the genetic factors that contribute to the development of CDH remain unidentified.


To identify genomic alterations that contribute to the development of diaphragmatic defects.


A cohort of 45 unrelated patients with CDH or diaphragmatic eventrations was screened for genomic alterations by array comparative genomic hybridisation or single nucleotide polymorphism based copy number analysis.


Genomic alterations that were likely to have contributed to the development of CDH were identified in 8 patients. Inherited deletions of ZFPM2 were identified in 2 patients with isolated diaphragmatic defects and a large de novo 8q deletion overlapping the same gene was found in a patient with non-isolated CDH. A de novo microdeletion of chromosome 1q41q42 and two de novo microdeletions on chromosome 16p11.2 were identified in patients with non-isolated CDH. Duplications of distal 11q and proximal 13q were found in a patient with non-isolated CDH and a de novo single gene deletion of FZD2 was identified in a patient with a partial pentalogy of Cantrell phenotype.


Haploinsufficiency of ZFPM2 can cause dominantly inherited isolated diaphragmatic defects with incomplete penetrance. These data define a new minimal deleted region for CDH on 1q41q42, provide evidence for the existence of CDH related genes on chromosomes 16p11.2, 11q23-24 and 13q12, and suggest a possible role for FZD2 and Wnt signalling in pentalogy of Cantrell phenotypes. These results demonstrate the clinical utility of screening for genomic alterations in individuals with both isolated and non-isolated diaphragmatic defects.

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