Genotype-Phenotype Correlations in 2q37-Deletion Syndrome: An Update of the Clinical Spectrum and Literature Review

Genes (Basel). 2023 Feb 11;14(2):465. doi: 10.3390/genes14020465.


2q37 microdeletion/deletion syndrome (2q37DS) is one of the most common subtelomeric deletion disorders, caused by a 2q37 deletion of variable size. The syndrome is characterized by a broad and diverse spectrum of clinical findings: characteristic facial dysmorphism, developmental delay/intellectual disability (ID), brachydactyly type E, short stature, obesity, hypotonia in infancy, and abnormal behavior with autism spectrum disorder. Although numerous cases have been described so far, the exact mapping of the genotype and phenotype have not yet been achieved.

Materials and methods: In this study we analyzed nine newly diagnosed cases with 2q37 deletion (3 male/6 female, aged between 2 and 30 years old), and followed up at the Iasi Regional Medical Genetics Centre. All patients were tested first with MLPA using combined kits P036/P070 subtelomeric screening mix and follow-up mix P264; after, the deletion size and location were confirmed via CGH-array. We compared our findings with the data of other cases reported in the literature.

Results: From nine cases, four had pure 2q37 deletions of variable sizes, and five presented deletion/duplication rearrangements (with chromosomes 2q, 9q, and 11p). In most cases, characteristic phenotypic aspects were observed: 9/9 facial dysmorphism, 8/9 global developmental delay and ID, 6/9 hypotonia, 5/9 behavior disorders, and 8/9 skeletal anomalies-especially brachydactyly type E. Two cases had obesity, one case had craniosynostosis, and four had heart defects. Other features found in our cases included translucent skin and telangiectasias (6/9), and a hump of fat on the upper thorax (5/9).

Conclusions: Our study enriches the literature data by describing new clinical features associated with 2q37 deletion, and possible genotype-phenotype correlations.

Keywords: 2q37 deletion; brachydactyly E; genotype–phenotype correlations; intellectual disability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder*
  • Brachydactyly* / diagnosis
  • Brachydactyly* / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability* / genetics
  • Male
  • Muscle Hypotonia
  • Obesity

Supplementary concepts

  • Brachydactyly, Type E
  • Chromosome 2q37 deletion syndrome

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.