Early-onset facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy type 1 with some atypical features

J Child Neurol. 2015 Apr;30(5):580-7. doi: 10.1177/0883073814528281. Epub 2014 Apr 9.


Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy cases with facial weakness before the age of 5 and signs of shoulder weakness by the age of 10 are defined as early onset. Contraction of the D4Z4 repeat on chromosome 4q35 is causally related to facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy type 1, and the residual size of the D4Z4 repeat shows a roughly inverse correlation with the severity of the disease. Contraction of the D4Z4 repeat on chromosome 4q35 is believed to induce a local change in chromatin structure and consequent transcriptional deregulation of 4qter genes. We present early-onset cases in the Polish population that amounted to 21% of our total population with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. More than 27% of them presented with severe phenotypes (wheelchair dependency). The residual D4Z4 repeat sizes ranged from 1 to 4 units. In addition, even within early-onset facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy type 1 phenotypes, some cases had uncommon features (head drop, early disabling contractures, progressive ptosis, and respiratory insufficiency and cardiomyopathy).

Keywords: 4q35 deletion; early-onset facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy; infantile facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 4
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hip / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral / diagnosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral / genetics*
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral / pathology
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral / physiopathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Poland
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Wheelchairs