Novel Genetic Associations and Range of Phenotypes in Children with Disorders of Sex Development and Neurodevelopment: Insights from the Deciphering Developmental Disorders Study

Sex Dev. 2016;10(3):130-5. doi: 10.1159/000447958. Epub 2016 Sep 2.


A range of phenotypes that are associated with disorders of sex development (DSD) may also be encountered in patients with neurodevelopmental delay. In this study we have undertaken a collaborative retrospective review of anonymised phenotypic and genotypic data from the UK-wide Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD) study. Our objectives were to determine the frequency and range of DSD phenotypes observed in participants in the DDD study and to identify novel genetic associations. We found that of 7,439 DDD participants, 603 (8%) had at least one genital abnormality. In addition, we found that DSD occurs in 5% of patients with learning difficulties. Causative mutations were found in 13 developmental genes, of which, crucially, 6 had no previous reported association with DSD. Our findings indicate that recognition of these associations should not be overlooked in the management of patients with complex conditions and that exomic sequencing through projects like DDD increases diagnostic yield.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Disorders of Sex Development / genetics*
  • Disorders of Sex Development / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Genitalia / metabolism
  • Genitalia / physiopathology
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Hypospadias / metabolism
  • Hypospadias / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / genetics*
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / physiopathology
  • Phenotype
  • Sexual Development / genetics
  • Sexual Development / physiology*