Imaging of DICER1 syndrome

Pediatr Radiol. 2019 Oct;49(11):1488-1505. doi: 10.1007/s00247-019-04429-x. Epub 2019 Oct 16.


DICER1 syndrome is a highly pleiotropic tumor predisposition syndrome that has been increasingly recognized in the last 10 years. Diseases in the syndrome result from mutations in both copies of the gene DICER1, a highly conserved gene that is critically implicated in micro-ribonucleic acid (miRNA) biogenesis and hence modulation of messenger RNAs. In general, susceptible individuals carry an inherited germline mutation that disables one copy of DICER1; within tumors, a very characteristic second mutation alters function of the other gene copy. About 20 hamartomatous, hyperplastic or neoplastic conditions comprise DICER1 syndrome. Most are not life-threatening, but some are aggressive malignancies. There are many unaffected carriers because penetrance is generally low; however, clinically occult thyroid nodules and lung cysts are frequent. Rare diseases of early childhood were the first recognized conditions in DICER1 syndrome, while other conditions affect adolescents and adults. The hallmarks of DICER1 syndrome are certain rare tumors including pleuropulmonary blastoma; cystic nephroma; ovarian Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor; sarcomas of the cervix, kidneys and cerebrum; pituitary blastoma; ciliary body medulloepithelioma; and nasal chondromesenchymal hamartoma. Radiologists are often the first practitioners to observe these diverse manifestations and play a primary role in recognizing DICER1 syndrome.

Keywords: Children; Computed tomography; DICER1 syndrome; Magnetic resonance imaging; Pleuropulmonary blastoma; Tumor predisposition; Ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / genetics*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Humans
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / genetics*
  • Rare Diseases
  • Ribonuclease III / genetics*


  • DICER1 protein, human
  • Ribonuclease III
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases

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