NKX2-1 mutations in brain-lung-thyroid syndrome: a case series of four patients

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Mar;27(3-4):373-8. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2013-0109.


Brain-lung-thyroid syndrome (BLTS) characterized by congenital hypothyroidism, respiratory distress syndrome, and benign hereditary chorea is caused by thyroid transcription factor 1 (NKX2-1/TTF1) mutations. We report the clinical and molecular characteristics of four cases presenting with primary hypothyroidism, respiratory distress, and neurological disorder. Two of the four patients presenting with the triad of BLTS had NKX2-1 mutations, and one of these NKX2-1 [c.890_896del (p.Ala327Glyfs*52)] is a novel variant. The third patient without any identified NKX2-1 mutations was a carrier of mitochondrial mutation; this raises the possibility of mitochondrial mutations contributing to thyroid dysgenesis. Although rare, the triad of congenital hypothyroidism, neurological, and respiratory signs is highly suggestive of NKX2-1 anomalies. Screening for NKX2-1 mutations in patients with thyroid, lung, and neurological abnormalities will enable a unifying diagnosis and genetic counseling for the affected families. In addition, identification of an NKX2-1 defect would be helpful in allaying the concerns about inadequate thyroxine supplementation as the cause of neurological defects observed in some children with congenital hypothyroidism.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Athetosis / genetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chorea / genetics*
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mutation*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / genetics*
  • Thyroid Nuclear Factor 1
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • NKX2-1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Thyroid Nuclear Factor 1
  • Transcription Factors

Supplementary concepts

  • Choreoathetosis, Hypothyroidism, And Neonatal Respiratory Distress