The syndromes of Sotos and Weaver: reports and review

Am J Med Genet. 1998 Oct 2;79(4):294-304. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8628(19981002)79:4<294::aid-ajmg12>;2-m.


The syndromes of Sotos and Weaver are paradigmatic of the daily nosologic difficulties faced by clinical geneticists attempting to diagnose and counsel, and to give accurate prognoses in cases of extensive phenotypic overlap between molecularly undefined entities. Vertebrate development is constrained into only very few final or common developmental paths; therefore, no developmental anomaly seen in humans is unique to ("pathognomonic" of) one syndrome. Thus, it is not surprising that prenatal overgrowth occurs in several syndromes, including the Sotos and Weaver syndromes. Are they sufficiently different in other respects to allow the postulation of locus (rather than allele) heterogeneity? Phenotypic data in both conditions are biased because of ascertainment of propositi, and the apparent differences between them may be entirely artificial as they were between the G and BBB syndromes. On the other hand, the Sotos syndrome may be a cancer syndrome, the Weaver syndrome not (though a neuroblastoma was reported in the latter); in the former there is also remarkably advanced dental maturation rarely commented on in the latter. In Weaver syndrome there are more conspicuous contractures and a facial appearance that experts find convincingly different from that of Sotos individuals. Nevertheless, the hypothesis of locus heterogeneity is testable; at the moment we are inclined to favor the hypothesis of allele heterogeneity. An international effort is required to map, isolate, and sequence the causal gene or genes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / abnormalities*
  • Female
  • Fetal Macrosomia / diagnosis
  • Fetal Macrosomia / genetics
  • Fetal Macrosomia / pathology
  • Genes, Dominant
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Growth Disorders / diagnosis
  • Growth Disorders / genetics
  • Growth Disorders / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Syndrome