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Pediatr Neurol. 2012 May;46(5):322-4. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2012.02.027.

Ataxia-telangiectasia presenting with a novel immunodeficiency.

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Division of Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Ataxia-telangiectasia is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive cerebellar ataxia, oculocutaneous telangiectasias, and variable degrees of immunodeficiency. Immunologic evaluations of affected patients often reveal anomalies of humoral and cell-mediated immunity. We describe a case of ataxia-telangiectasia with an atypical immunodeficiency and a novel mutation in the ATM gene. The patient presented at age 3 years with a perineal cellulitis associated with profound neutropenia and T-cell lymphopenia. Serum immunoglobulin levels and antibody titers were normal. Neurologic evaluation revealed minimal hypotonia and wide-based gait, without other signs of cerebellar dysfunction. The alpha-fetoprotein level was elevated, and molecular genetic testing confirmed the diagnosis of ataxia-telangiectasia, uncovering a novel ATM gene mutation c.3931C>T (p.Gln1311X) in exon 28. This patient presents a unique immunologic pattern with normal immunoglobulin levels, significant lymphopenia, and profound neutropenia. The diagnosis of ataxia-telangiectasia should be considered in children presenting with gait disorder and immunologic defects, regardless of subtype and severity.

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