Purpose: Congenital microcephaly (CM) is an important birth defect with long term neurological sequelae. We aimed to perform detailed phenotypic and genomic analysis of patients with Mendelian forms of CM.
Methods: Clinical phenotyping, targeted or exome sequencing, and autozygome analysis.
Results: We describe 150 patients (104 families) with 56 Mendelian forms of CM. Our data show little overlap with the genetic causes of postnatal microcephaly. We also show that a broad definition of primary microcephaly -as an autosomal recessive form of nonsyndromic CM with severe postnatal deceleration of occipitofrontal circumference-is highly sensitive but has a limited specificity. In addition, we expand the overlap between primary microcephaly and microcephalic primordial dwarfism both clinically (short stature in >52% of patients with primary microcephaly) and molecularly (e.g., we report the first instance of CEP135-related microcephalic primordial dwarfism). We expand the allelic and locus heterogeneity of CM by reporting 37 novel likely disease-causing variants in 27 disease genes, confirming the candidacy of ANKLE2, YARS, FRMD4A, and THG1L, and proposing the candidacy of BPTF, MAP1B, CCNH, and PPFIBP1.
Conclusion: Our study refines the phenotype of CM, expands its genetics heterogeneity, and informs the workup of children born with this developmental brain defect.
Keywords: CNTRL; autozygome; dwarfism; primary microcephaly.