Unique clinical and neurophysiologic profile of a cohort of children with CMTX3

Neurology. 2018 May 8;90(19):e1706-e1710. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005479. Epub 2018 Apr 6.


Objective: To describe in detail the clinical profile of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease subtype 3 (CMTX3) to aid appropriate genetic testing and rehabilitative therapy.

Methods: We reviewed the clinical and neurophysiologic profile and CMT Pediatric Scale (CMTPedS) assessments of 11 children with CMTX3.

Results: Compared with the more common forms of CMT, CMT1A and CMTX, CMTX3 was characterized by early onset with early and progressive hand weakness. Most affected children were symptomatic within the first 2 years of life. The most common presentation was foot deformity in the first year of life. CMTPedS analysis in these children revealed that CMTX3 progressed more rapidly (4.3 ± 4.1 points over 2 years, n = 7) than CMT1A and CMTX1. Grip strength in affected boys was 2 SDs below age- and sex-matched normative reference values (z score -2.05 ± 1.32) in the second decade of life. The most severely affected individual was wheelchair bound at 14 years of age, and 2 individuals had no movement in the small muscles of the hand in the second decade of life. Nerve conduction studies showed a demyelinating sensorimotor neuropathy with motor conduction velocity ≤23 m/s.

Conclusions: CMTX3 had an earlier onset, severe hand weakness, and more rapidly progressive disability compared to the more common forms of CMT. Understanding the unique phenotype of CMTX3 is essential for directing genetic testing because the CMTX3 insertion will not be seen on a routine microarray or neuromuscular gene panel. Early diagnosis will enable rehabilitation to be started early in this rapidly progressive neuropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Australia
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease* / genetics
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease* / physiopathology
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease* / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Connexins / genetics*
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Connexins

Supplementary concepts

  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, X-linked recessive, 3