• interstitial deletion of chromosome 2q;
  • Seckel syndrome;
  • microcephaly;
  • mental retardation


A boy presented at 5 weeks with a syndrome of pre- and postnatal growth retardation, microcephaly, muscular hypotonia, and facial anomalies resembling those seen in Seckel syndrome or microcephalic primordial dwarfism I. Analysis of prometaphase chromosomes, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), and molecular studies showed the presence of a de novo chromosome 2 deletion that could be defined as del(2)(q33.3q34)pat. Parental chromosomes were normal, except for the presence of a paternal supernumerary marker identified by FISH as der(15).

On follow-up of the patient during the next months length development appeared normal and the diagnosis of Seckel syndrome was withdrawn. Clinical findings of previously published cases with interstitial deletion of at least 2q33.3-q34, the deletion present in the propositus, are reviewed and include pre- and postnatal growth retardation, psychomotor retardation, microcephaly, micrognathia, and abnormal/low-set ears; findings also present in the propositus. These findings resemble those described in the Seckel syndrome. Noteworthy is the finding that 2/3 of the 60 reviewed cases originally reported as having Seckel syndrome apparently belong to a heterogeneous group of low birth weight microcephalic dwarfism I yet to be clearly defined. In these patients no chromosome 2q deletion has been reported so far. Retrospective analysis could show if a subgroup of these patients carry submicroscopic deletions at 2q33.3-q34. Alternatively, molecular analysis of this region may be warranted in newly diagnosed patients with Seckel syndrome- like manifestations. Am. J. Med. Genet. 71:479–485, 1997. © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.