Classic Case Report of Donohue Syndrome (Leprechaunism; OMIM *246200): The Impact of Consanguineous Mating

Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Feb;95(6):e2710. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000002710.


Donohue syndrome ([DS]; leprechaunism) describes a genetic autosomal recessive disorder that results from the presence of homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in the insulin receptor gene (INSR; 19p13.3-p13.2).Donohue syndrome is associated with a fatal congenital form of dwarfism with features of intrauterine and postnatal growth retardation, exaggerated hyperglycemia with hyperinsulinism and dysmorphic abnormalities.We present a case of DS owing to the rarity of this syndrome (1 case in every million births). We discuss how the disease presents, its genetic underpinning, and its prevention.The case was encountered in an Arab male born on 1 September, 2014, for consanguineous parents. The delivery was via cesarean section at 37 weeks gestation due to severe intrauterine growth restriction and nonprogress labor term. The patient was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit due to infection, and jaundice. Dysmorphic features, abnormalities of the craniofacial region, low birth weight, skin abnormalities, abdominal distension and hypertrichosis were observed. Laboratory examinations showed, hyperinsulinism, increased C-peptide, thrombocytopenia, leucopenia, and anemia.The diagnosis of DS was done based on the combinations of typical dysmorphic characteristics, clinical evaluation, supported by genetic analysis and exaggerated biochemical results. Genetic diagnosis of DS was performed through analysis of DNA via polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A qualitative real-time PCR was used, to monitor the amplification of a targeted DNA molecule during the PCR. Other technique using sequencing of the INSR gene, which permits genetic diagnosis, counseling, and antenatal diagnoses in subsequent pregnancies, were also performed.Treatment of DS is supportive and requires the combined efforts of a multidisciplinary team, which include pediatricians, endocrinologists, dermatologists, and other health care professionals. Currently, treatment with recombinant insulin-like growth factor 1 demonstrates effectiveness, and a combination treatment with insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 resulted in an increased lifespan.There is a scarcity of genetic information on DS among the Arab population. Consanguinity is one of underlying reasons for the appearance of rare genetic disorders. Inbreeding has long been considered a controversial phenomenon. Genetic counseling and overwhelming the alertness of the negative consequences of consanguinity on public health are warranted.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Consanguinity
  • Donohue Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Donohue Syndrome / genetics
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male