Aim of the study: Mowat Wilson syndrome (MWS) is a complex genetic disorder due to mutation or deletion of the ZEB2 gene (ZFHX1B), including multiple clinical features. Hirschsprung disease is associated with this syndrome with a prevalence between 43 and 57%. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the severe outcomes and the high complication rates in children with MWS, focusing on their complicated follow-up.
Methods: A retrospective comparative study was conducted on patients referred to Robert-Debré Children's Hospital for MWS from 2003 to 2018. Multidisciplinary follow-up was carried out by surgeons, geneticists, gastroenterologists, and neurologists. Data regarding patient characteristics, surgical management, postoperative complications, and functional outcomes were collected.
Results: Over this period of 15 years, 23 patients were diagnosed with MWS. Hirschsprung disease was associated with 10 of them (43%). Of these cases, two patients had recto-sigmoïd aganglionosis (20%), three had aganglionic segment extension to the left colic angle (30%), two to the right colic angle (20%), and three to the whole colon (30%). The median follow-up was 8.5 years (2 months-15 years). All patients had seizures and intellectual disability. Six children (60%) presented with cardiac defects. At the last follow-up, three patients still had a stoma diversion and 7 (70%) were fed orally. One patient died during the first months. Eight (80%) of these children required a second surgery due to complications. At the last follow-up, three patients reported episodes of abdominal bloating (42%), one recurrent treated constipation (14.3%), and one soiling (14.3%). Genetic analysis identified three patients with heterozygous deletions, three with codon mutations, and three with frameshift mutations.
Conclusions: MWS associated with Hirschsprung disease has a high rate of immediate surgical complications but some patients may achieve bowel function comparable with non-syndromic HD patients. A multidisciplinary follow-up is required for these patients.
Level of evidence: Retrospective observational single cohort study, Level 3.