Three case reports of patients indicating the diversity of molecular and clinical features of 16p11.2 microdeletion anomaly

BMC Med Genomics. 2021 Mar 10;14(1):76. doi: 10.1186/s12920-021-00929-8.


Background: 16p11.2 microdeletion is a known chromosomal anomaly associated mainly with neurocognitive developmental delay, predisposition to obesity, and variable dysmorphism. Although this deletion is relatively rare among the general population, it is one of the serious known genetic aetiologies of obesity and autism spectrum disorder.

Case presentation: This study presents three cases of deletions within the 16p11.2 region. Every child had mild variable craniofacial abnormalities, hand or foot anomalies and developmental and language delays. The first proband had obesity, epilepsy, moderate intellectual disability, aphasia, motor delay, hyperinsulinism, and café au lait spots. The second proband suffered from cardiac, pulmonary, and haematological problems. The third proband had motor and language delays, bronchial asthma, and umbilical hernia. Although each patient presented some features of the syndrome, the children differed in terms of their clinical pictures. Genetic diagnosis of 16p11.2 microdeletion syndrome was made in children at different ages based on multiplex ligation probe-dependent amplification analysis and/or microarray methods.

Conclusions: Our reports allow us to analyse and better understand the biology of 16p11.2 microdeletion throughout development. However, the variability of presented cases supports the alternate conclusion to this presented in available literature regarding 16p11.2 deletion, as we observed no direct cause-and-effect genotype/phenotype relationships. The reported cases indicate the key role of the interdisciplinary approach in 16p11.2 deletion diagnostics. The care of patients with this anomaly is based on regular health assessment and adjustment of nervous system development therapy.

Keywords: 16p11.2; Autism spectrum disorder; MLPA; Microarray; Microdeletion anomaly.