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Keywords:

  • Costello syndrome;
  • HRAS;
  • neonatal cardiomyopathy;
  • congenital alveolar dysplasia;
  • dinucleotide insertion/deletion mutation

Abstract

De novo heterozygous mutations in HRAS cause Costello syndrome (CS), a condition with high mortality and morbidity in infancy and early childhood due to cardiac, respiratory, and muscular complications. HRAS mutations predicting p.Gly12Val, p.Gly12Asp, and p.Gly12Cys substitutions have been associated with severe, lethal, CS. We report on molecular, clinical, and pathological findings in patients with mutations predicting HRAS p.Gly12Val that were identified in our clinical molecular genetic testing service. Such mutations were identified in four patients. Remarkably, three were deletion/insertion mutations affecting coding nucleotides 35 and 36. All patients died within 6 postnatal weeks, providing further evidence that p.Gly12Val mutations predict a very poor prognosis. High birth weight, polyhydramnios (and premature birth), cardiac hypertrophy, respiratory distress, muscle weakness, and postnatal growth failure were present. Dysmorphism was subtle or non-specific, with edema, coarsened facial features, prominent forehead, depressed nasal bridge, anteverted nares, and low-set ears. Proximal upper limb shortening, a small bell-shaped chest, talipes, and fixed flexion deformities of the wrists were seen. Neonatal atrial arrhythmia, highly suggestive of CS, was also present in two patients. One patient had congenital alveolar dysplasia, and another, born after 36 weeks' gestation, bronchopulmonary dysplasia. A rapidly fatal disease course, and the difficulty of identifying subtle dysmorphism in neonates requiring intensive care, suggest that this condition remains under-recognized, and should enter the differential diagnosis for very sick infants with a range of clinical problems including cardiac hypertrophy and disordered pulmonary development. Clinical management should be informed by knowledge of the poor prognosis of this condition. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.