Distal 13q Deletion Syndrome and the VACTERL association: case report, literature review, and possible implications

Am J Med Genet. 2001 Jan 15;98(2):137-44. doi: 10.1002/1096-8628(20010115)98:2<137::aid-ajmg1022>3.0.co;2-5.


We present a case of a child with del(13) (q31.1qter), VACTERL association, and penoscrotal transposition. Deletion of the distal long arm of chromosome 13 is associated with variable phenotypes. These phenotypes are divided into three clusters; each cluster represents a specific deleted segment of 13q. Individuals with deletions of a critical region at 13q32 have multiple congenital malformations that include components of the VACTERL association. Our patient had all six manifestations of VACTERL association. In addition, he had complete penoscrotal transposition, a unique malformation reported rarely in VACTERL association and only twice previously in deletion of distal 13q. We reviewed all reported cases of distal 13q deletions to date. Of these 137 patients, 15 could be classified into the VACTERL association. Ours was the only patient with distal 13q deletion and all VACTERL association features and also the only one with tracheoesophageal fistula. Neither holoprosencephaly nor the other central nervous system malformations that have been seen in individuals with distal 13q deletions were apparent in him. The patient presented here appears to be unique among individuals with distal 13q deletion. His cluster of malformations strengthens the argument that distal 13q deletion is a cause for VACTERL association, and that this causal relationship implies a syndromic form of VACTERL. In addition, this case and those ascertained from the literature suggest that penoscrotal transposition should be considered part of both the distal 13q-deletion syndrome and some forms of VACTERL association.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / classification
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / pathology
  • Adult
  • Chromosome Deletion*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 13 / genetics*
  • Cytogenetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Perineum / abnormalities
  • Syndrome
  • Thorax / pathology
  • Urethra / abnormalities