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Eur J Pediatr. 2013 Oct;172(10):1415-8. doi: 10.1007/s00431-013-1962-2. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Refractory congestive heart failure following delayed pericardectomy in a 12-year-old child with Mulibrey nanism due to a novel mutation in TRIM37.

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Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Pulmonology and Intensive Care, Universitaetsklinikum Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler Str. 1, 72076, Tübingen, Germany,


Mulibrey nanism (MUL) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder with severe primordial growth retardation and multiorgan involvement, caused by mutations in TRIM37. Early clinical detection is important since more than 50 % of the patients develop congestive heart failure. We report a 12-year-old patient who presented in infancy with severe growth retardation, dysmorphic features, and cleft palate. Clinical diagnosis of MUL was established at the age of 5 years. Postmortem, molecular diagnostic confirmed MUL as a novel 1-bp deletion (c.1233delA) in exon 14 of the TRIM37 coding region. Cardiac examination at the age of 6 years revealed constrictive pericarditis with significant elevation of atrial filling pressures, consecutive hepatomegaly, and protein loosing enteropathy. Since the parents refused pericardectomy, surgery was delayed until the age of 12 years, when congestive heart failure deteriorated. Despite pericardectomy, the boy died from persistent right heart failure.


Our report underlines the necessity of early clinical diagnosis of Mulibrey nanism. Careful cardiologic examination is required to detect constrictive pericarditis, which is a major factor of mortality in these patients. Pericardectomy should be performed early, to avoid sequelae of persisting congestive heart failure.

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