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Pediatr Neurol. 2018 Aug;85:67-70. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2018.05.010. Epub 2018 Jun 5.

Use of Flow Cytometry for Diagnosis of Epilepsy Associated With Homozygous PIGW Variants.

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Division of Medical Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
Stanford Blood Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
Department of Neurology, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
Division of Medical Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford, California; Valley Children's Healthcare, Madera, California.
Division of Medical Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford, California. Electronic address:



Biallelic variants in PIGW have been suggested to cause infantile spasms and hyperphosphatasia. PIGW encodes for a protein involved in the third step of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) synthesis. GPI anchored proteins are increasingly recognized as important structures for cellular interactions and neuronal development.


Molecular testing of PIGW was performed followed by fluorescence activating cell sorting analysis of granulocytes, lymphocytes, and monocytes, and compared to controls.


An infant was homozygous for variants in PIGW (c.199C>G; p.Pro67Ala) with an associated phenotype of infantile spasms, myoclonic seizures, cortical visual impairment, developmental delay, and minor dysmorphic features. Alkaline phosphatase levels ranged from normal to mildly elevated. Flow cytometric studies showed significantly decreased expression of important GPIs, providing functional evidence of pathogenicity.


Our data provide further evidence of a novel autosomal recessive PIGW-related epilepsy disorder. Flow cytometry provided functional evidence of the pathogenicity of homozygous variants of uncertain significance in PIGW, and supports the use of flow cytometry as a functional tool to demonstrate decreased surface expression of GPI anchored proteins in individuals with variants of unknown significance.


Epilepsy; Hyperphosphatasia; Hypophosphatasia; Seizure

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