Inherited bone marrow failure syndrome (IBMFS) is a group of clinically heterogeneous disorders characterized by significant hematological cytopenias of one or more hematopoietic cell lineages and is associated with an increased risk of cancer. The genetic etiology of IBMFS includes germline mutations impacting several key biological processes, such as DNA repair, telomere biology, and ribosome biogenesis, which may cause four major syndromes: Fanconi anemia, dyskeratosis congenita, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome. Although the clinical features of some patients may be typical of a particular IBMFS, overlapping and atypical clinical manifestations and variable penetrance pose diagnostic challenges. Here, we review the clinical and genetic features of the major forms of IBMFS and discuss their molecular genetic diagnosis. Next-generation sequencing-based gene panel testing or whole exome sequencing will help elucidate the genetic causes and underlying mechanisms of this genetically heterogeneous group of diseases.
Keywords: Diamond-Blackfan anemia; Dyskeratosis congenital; Fanconi anemia; Inherited bone marrow failure syndrome; Shwachman-Diamond syndrome; Somatic genetic rescue.