Cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome (CFC) with congenital peripheral neuropathy and nonorganic malnutrition: an autopsy study

Am J Med Genet A. 2005 Aug 15;137(1):1-8. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.30834.


Many phenotypic manifestations have been reported in cardiofaciocutaneous (CFC) syndrome, but none, to date, are pathognomonic or obligatory. Previous histopathological studies reported findings in skin and hair; no autopsy studies have been published. We report the clinical and autopsy findings of a 7-year-old boy with severe CFC syndrome and malnutrition of psychosocial origin. Manifestations of CFC, reported previously, included macrocephaly and macrosomia at birth; short stature; hypotonia; global developmental delays; dry, sparse thin curly hair; sparse eyebrows and eyelashes; dilated cerebral ventricles; high cranial vault; bitemporal constriction; supraorbital ridge hypoplasia; hypertelorism; ptosis; exophthalmos; depressed nasal bridge; anteverted nostrils; low-set, posteriorly-rotated, large, thick ears; decayed, dysplastic teeth; strabismus; hyperelastic skin; wrinkled palms; keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei; ulerythema ophryogenes; hyperkeratosis; gastroesophageal reflux; and tracheobronchomalacia. Additional findings, not previously reported, include islet cell hyperplasia, lymphoid depletion, thymic atrophy and congenital hypertrophy of peripheral nerves with onion bulb formations. Although the islet cell hyperplasia, lymphoid depletion, and thymic atrophy are nonspecific findings that may be associated with either CFC or malnutrition, the onion bulb hypertrophy is specific for a demyelinating-remyelinating neuropathy. These findings implicate congenital peripheral neuropathy in the pathogenesis of the developmental delays, feeding difficulties, respiratory difficulties, ptosis and short stature in this case. Additional studies of other cases of CFC are needed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / pathology*
  • Autopsy
  • Child
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / pathology*
  • Face / abnormalities*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / congenital
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Skin Abnormalities*
  • Syndrome