The outcome of targeted NGS screening in patients with syndromic forms of sagittal and pansynostosis - IL11RA is an emerging core-gene for pansynostosis

Eur J Med Genet. 2022 May;65(5):104476. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2022.104476. Epub 2022 Mar 21.


Here, we have studied the prevalence and spectrum of genetic alterations in syndromic forms of sagittal and pansynostosis. Eighteen patients with sagittal synostosis (isolated or combined with other synostoses, except coronal) or pansynostosis were phenotypically assessed by retrospective analysis of medical records, three-dimensional computed tomography skull reconstructions, and registered photos. Patient DNAs were analyzed using a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel including 63 craniosynostosis (CS) related genes. Pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants were found in 72% of the cases, mainly affecting FGFR2, TWIST1, IL11RA, and SKI. Two patients that were negative at NGS screening - one with a supernumerary marker chromosome with duplication of 15q25.2q26.3 and one with a pathogenic PHEX variant - were identified using microarray and single gene analysis, respectively. The overall diagnostic rate in the cohort was thus 83%. We identified two novel likely pathogenic variants in FGFR2 (NM_022970.3: c.811_812delGGinsCC, p.Gly271Pro) and TWIST1 (NM_000474.3: c.476T > A, p.Leu159His), and a novel variant of unclear phenotypic significance in RUNX2 (NM_001024630.3: c.340G > A, p.Val114Ile) which could suggest a modulatory effect. Notably, we also identified three new patients with pansynostosis and a Crouzon-like phenotype with IL11RA mutation. Targeted NGS using a broad panel of CS-related genes is a simple and powerful tool for detecting pathogenic mutations in patients with syndromic forms of CS and multiple suture involvement, in particular pansynostosis. Our results provide additional evidence of an association between pansynostosis and IL11RA, an emerging core gene for autosomal recessive CS.

Keywords: Cranial; Craniofacial; Genetic; Skull; Suture.

MeSH terms

  • Craniosynostoses* / diagnosis
  • Craniosynostoses* / genetics
  • Craniosynostoses* / pathology
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-11 Receptor alpha Subunit / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Retrospective Studies


  • IL11RA protein, human
  • Interleukin-11 Receptor alpha Subunit