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Int J Radiat Biol. 1994 Dec;66(6 Suppl):S185-8.

Nijmegen Breakage syndrome: a progress report.

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Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


We report the findings in the first 30 patients with the Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome (NBS). All had microcephaly from birth, short stature and a 'bird-like' face. Most of them suffered from recurrent respiratory tract infections. Intelligence was normal in half of the patients. Serum immunoglobulins were disturbed in 22/25 patients investigated (IgG deficiency, IgA deficiency, IgG2 and IgG4 deficiency) and T cell defects were found in 23/24 patients tested. The immunodeficiency appears to be more severe than in A-T. Chromosomal aberrations in cultured T lymphocytes occurred preferentially in chromosomes 7 and 14 and at the same breakpoints as in A-T. However, the percentage of chromosome 7 and/or 14 rearrangements was significantly higher in NBS patients than in A-T patients (p < 0.0005). Inv(7) was amongst the most frequently detected aberration in NBS cells as it is in A-T cells. Large clones of cells with rearrangements of chromosome 14 were rare in NBS. Of the first 19 reported patients eight have already developed a malignancy: seven a lymphoma and one a meningioma. It is noteworthy that both the tendency to express rearrangements of chromosomes 7 and 14 and the tendency to develop a malignancy is much higher in NBS than in A-T. Whether there is any causal relationship is as yet unknown.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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