Report of a fourth individual with a lethal syndrome of choanal atresia, athelia, evidence of renal tubulopathy, and family history of neck cysts

Am J Med Genet A. 2007 Jun 1;143A(11):1231-5. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.31734.


In 1998, Hisama et al. described three brothers born following pregnancies complicated by oligohydramnios in the second or third trimester. Post-natal renal functions were compromised, and post-mortem studies showed kidney tissue abnormalities. Resuscitation and support were required, and they survived 25 hr to 12 days. All boys had a similar craniofacial appearance with infraorbital creases, low set dysplastic ears, as well as athelia, and broad digits with small nails. Variably present features were choanal atresia, preauricular tags and pits, branchial clefts, ventricular septal defect, type IIB interrupted aortic arch, pulmonary lobation anomaly, absent gallbladder, absent thymus, absent parathyroid gland, accessory spleen, and imperforate anus. Their mother, maternal grandmother, and maternal first cousin had neck cysts removed as children. We describe a female infant born following a pregnancy where oligohydramnios developed between 27 and 33 weeks gestation. Renal function was initially impaired, but improved over the first weeks of life. There was however a persistent renal wasting of magnesium. Her craniofacial appearance with infraorbital creases and low set dysplastic ears was similar to the brothers' described by Hisama et al. [1998; Am J Med Genet 80:335-342]. She had choanal atresia, athelia, a preauricular pit, gingival cysts, broad digits with small nails, right aortic arch with a vascular ring, hypothyroidism, impaired glucose homeostasis, hypoadrenalism, neurological impairment, and brain calcifications on CT. She died after 13 weeks of intensive care. Her mother as a child and maternal grandfather as an adult had neck cysts removed. The similarities between the cases suggest a common syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / pathology*
  • Choanal Atresia / complications*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology*
  • Neck / pathology*
  • Nipples / abnormalities*
  • Syndrome