Brain anomalies, retardation of mentality and growth, ectodermal dysplasia, skeletal malformations, Hirschsprung disease, ear deformity and deafness, eye hypoplasia, cleft palate, cryptorchidism, and kidney dysplasia/hypoplasia (BRESEK/BRESHECK): new X-linked syndrome?

Am J Med Genet. 1997 Feb 11;68(4):386-90. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8628(19970211)68:4<386::aid-ajmg2>;2-k.


Two half brothers (maternally related) had a similar syndrome of microhydrocephaly in both brothers and dilatation of the spinal canal with fusion of thalami in one brother. Primordial growth delay was noted in both brothers, with severe mental retardation in the surviving brother. Both had ectodermal dysplasia with scaling, hyperkeratosis, and generalized alopecia, but normal sweat and sebaceous glands. Skeletal anomalies included hemivertebrae with abnormal segmentation in one and scoliosis with polydactyly in the other. Ears were apparently low set, large, and protruding, with mixed hearing loss in the brother who survived. Eye anomalies included maldevelopment of one eye in Patient 1 and small optic nerves more noticeable on one side in Patient 2. Both had cryptorchidism and dysplastic/hypoplastic kidneys of varying severity that resulted in the early postnatal death of one sib. Manifestations present in only one or the other sib included submucous cleft palate, aganglionosis of the rectum and colon, agenesis of one testicle, and single umbilical artery. This syndrome has not been described previously and may be due to an X-linked mutation. The acronym BRESEK reflects the common findings, whereas BRESHECK denotes all manifestations of both patients: brain, retardation, ectodermal dysplasia, skeletal deformities, Hirschsprung disease, ear/eye anomalies, cleft palate/cryptorchidism, and kidney dysplasia/hypoplasia. In addition to an X-linked mutation, a contiguous gene deletion or maternal mosaicism of an autosomal dominant gene must be considered.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / abnormalities*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cleft Palate / complications*
  • Cleft Palate / genetics
  • Cryptorchidism / complications
  • Cryptorchidism / genetics
  • Deafness / complications
  • Deafness / genetics
  • Ear / abnormalities
  • Ectodermal Dysplasia / complications*
  • Ectodermal Dysplasia / genetics
  • Eye / pathology
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / complications
  • Growth Disorders / genetics
  • Head / abnormalities
  • Hirschsprung Disease / complications*
  • Hirschsprung Disease / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intellectual Disability / complications*
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics
  • Kidney / abnormalities
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Skin / pathology
  • Syndrome