Detailed analysis of phenotypes and genotypes in megalencephaly-capillary malformation-polymicrogyria syndrome caused by somatic mosaicism of PIK3CA mutations

Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2020 Aug 10;15(1):205. doi: 10.1186/s13023-020-01480-y.


Background: Megalencephaly-capillary malformation-polymicrogyria syndrome (MCAP) belongs to a group of conditions called the PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS). The varying phenotypes and low frequencies of each somatic mosaic variant make confirmative diagnosis difficult. We present 12 patients who were diagnosed clinically and genetically with MCAP. Genomic DNA was extracted mainly from the skin of affected lesions, also from peripheral blood leukocytes and buccal epithelial cells, and target panel sequencing using high-depth next-generation sequencing technology was performed.

Results: Macrocephaly was present in 11/12 patients (92%). All patients had normal body asymmetry. Cutaneous vascular malformation was found in 10/12 patients (83%). Megalencephaly or hemimegalencephaly was noted in all 11 patients who underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging. Arnold-Chiari type I malformation was also seen in 10 patients. Every patient was identified as having pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants of the PIK3CA gene. The variant allele frequency (VAF) ranged from 6.3 to 35.3%, however, there was no direct correlation between VAF and the severity of associated anomalies. c.2740G > A (p.Gly914Arg) was most commonly found, in four patients (33%). No malignancies developed during follow-up periods.

Conclusions: This is the first and largest cohort of molecularly diagnosed patients with MCAP in Korea. Targeted therapy with a PI3K-specific inhibitor, alpelisib, has shown successful outcomes in patients with PROS in a pilot clinical study, so early diagnosis for genetic counseling and timely introduction of emerging treatments might be achieved in the future through optimal genetic testing.

Keywords: Asymmetry; Cutaneous vascular malformation; Megalencephaly; PIK3CA; Somatic overgrowth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Class I Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Megalencephaly* / genetics
  • Mosaicism
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Polymicrogyria* / genetics
  • Republic of Korea


  • Class I Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • PIK3CA protein, human