Bilateral Wilms tumor in a boy with severe hypospadias and cryptochidism due to a heterozygous mutation in the WT1 gene

Pediatr Res. 1999 Feb;45(2):187-90. doi: 10.1203/00006450-199902000-00005.


Mutations in the WT1 gene causing Wilms tumors were first reported in WAGR syndrome (Wilms tumor, Aniridia, Genitourinary malformation, mental Retardation) and Denys Drash syndrome (pseudohermaphroditism, Wilms tumor, nephropathy), but only in a few patients with hypospadias and cryptorchidism without other signs of Denys Drash (DDS) or WAGR syndrome WT1 mutations were identified. We report a boy, who was born in 1989 with hypospadias and bilateral cryptorchidism. Previous karyotyping and endocrine studies had ruled out any known cause of male pseudohermaphroditism. Subsequently, he developed a bilateral Wilms tumor, which was detected by palpation at the age of 15 months during a routine visit by the general pediatrician. Because of its extensive size, surgery and chemotherapy were needed for treatment. Analysis of the WT1 gene was performed 5 y after diagnosis and revealed a C to T transition in one allele generating a stop codon at codon 362 and subsequently leading to a truncated protein with loss of its ability to bind to DNA. No signs of DDS or WAGR syndrome are present in the boy. The work up of this patient and the so far known few comparable cases from the literature lead to the conclusion that in newborns with severe urogenital malformations not due to known chromosomal or endocrine disorders mutational screening of the WT1 gene should be performed, to evaluate the high risk of developing a Wilms tumor. We favor mutational screening in these patients as an easy tool for investigation, because in the future it will probably decrease the necessity of frequent control visits in patients without a WT1 mutation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 11*
  • Codon, Terminator*
  • Cryptorchidism / complications
  • Cryptorchidism / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, Wilms Tumor*
  • Genetic Carrier Screening
  • Genitalia, Male / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Hypospadias / complications
  • Hypospadias / genetics*
  • Karyotyping
  • Kidney Neoplasms / complications
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Male
  • Point Mutation*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Uterus
  • Vagina
  • WT1 Proteins
  • Wilms Tumor / complications
  • Wilms Tumor / genetics*


  • Codon, Terminator
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • WT1 Proteins