EZH2-Related Overgrowth

In: GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993–2020.
[updated ].


Clinical characteristics: EZH2-related overgrowth includes EZH2-related Weaver syndrome at one end of the spectrum and tall stature at the other. Although most individuals diagnosed with a heterozygous EZH2 pathogenic variant have been identified because of a clinical suspicion of Weaver syndrome, a minority have been identified through molecular genetic testing of family members of probands or individuals with overgrowth who did not have a clinical diagnosis of Weaver syndrome. Thus, the extent of the phenotypic spectrum associated with a heterozygous EZH2 pathogenic variant is not yet known.

Weaver syndrome is characterized by tall stature, variable intellect (ranging from normal intellect to severe intellectual disability), characteristic facial appearance, and a range of associated clinical features including advanced bone age, poor coordination, soft doughy skin, camptodactyly of the fingers and/or toes, umbilical hernia, abnormal tone, and hoarse low cry in infancy. Brain MRI has identified abnormalities in a few individuals with EZH2-related overgrowth. Neuroblastoma occurs at a slightly increased frequency in individuals with a heterozygous EZH2 pathogenic variant but data are insufficient to determine absolute risk. There is currently no evidence that additional malignancies (including hematologic malignancies) occur with increased frequency.

Diagnosis/testing: The diagnosis of EZH2-related overgrowth is based on detection of a heterozygous germline EZH2 pathogenic variant on molecular genetic testing.

Management: Treatment of manifestations: For individuals with developmental delay and/or learning disability, referral for learning/behavior/speech assessment and support may be indicated. Occasionally, toe camptodactyly may require surgical release. Physiotherapy may be of benefit to those experiencing joint pain secondary to ligamentous laxity or joint contractures. Treatment of scoliosis is routine. The appropriate specialist referral(s) should be made for other clinical issues.

Surveillance: Regular medical follow up of young children with EZH2-related Weaver syndrome to monitor developmental progress, camptodactyly (for resolution/improvement), and/or hypotonia; medical follow up of older children/teenagers who do not have medical complications may be less frequent. If scoliosis is present, monitoring as per the recommendations of an orthopedist. Although current data do not support specific tumor surveillance programs, clinicians should have a low threshold for investigating any findings that may be tumor (particularly neuroblastoma) related.

Pregnancy management: Families and their health care providers should be aware that an affected baby may be large so that appropriate delivery plans can be made.

Genetic counseling: EZH2-related overgrowth is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner; however, many germline pathogenic EZH2 variants arise de novo. Each child of an individual with an EZH2 pathogenic variant has a 50% chance of inheriting the pathogenic variant; the severity of the phenotype in an individual inheriting the EZH2 pathogenic variant cannot be predicted. If the pathogenic variant has been identified in an affected family member, prenatal diagnosis for a pregnancy at increased risk and preimplantation genetic testing are possible.

Publication types

  • Review