Diagnosis of tuberous sclerosis in the prenatal period: a retrospective study of 240 cases and review of the literature

Eur J Hum Genet. 2024 May 28. doi: 10.1038/s41431-024-01631-w. Online ahead of print.


Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a rare multisystemic disorder caused by a pathogenic variant in the TSC1 or TSC2 gene. A great phenotypic variability characterises TSC. The condition predisposes to the formation of hamartomas in various tissues, neurologic and neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy, psychiatric disorders, as well as intellectual disability in 50%. TSC may be responsible for cardiac rhabdomyomas (CRs), cortical tubers, or subependymal nodules during foetal life. Detecting multiple CRs is associated with a very high risk of TSC, but the CR could be single and isolated. Few data exist to estimate the risk of TSC in these cases. We report the largest series of prenatal genetic tests for TSC with a retrospective study of 240 foetuses presenting with suggestive antenatal signs. We also provide a review of the literature to specify the probability of clinical or genetic diagnosis of TSC in case of detection of single or multiple CRs. Indeed, an early diagnosis is crucial for the counselling of the couple and their families. In this series, a definite diagnosis was assessed in 50% (41/82) of foetuses who initially presented with a single CR and 80.3% (127/158) in cases of multiple CRs. The prevalence of parental germinal mosaicism was 2.6% (3/115).