• 22q11 deletion;
  • Chile;
  • DiGeorge syndrome;
  • velocardiofacial syndrome

Patients with chromosome 22q11 deletion syndrome exhibit significant phenotypic variability. Epidemiologic data suggest a higher incidence in Hispanics, but limited clinical information is available from Latin-American patients. We describe the clinical features of Chilean patients with 22q11 deletion syndrome and compare their findings with those reported in large European, Japanese and US series. Data were obtained from 208 patients from five medical centers. Mean age at diagnosis was 5.2 years, with a median of 2.3 years. Congenital heart defects were present in 59.6%, lower than other large series that averaged 75.8%. Palate abnormalities were present in 79%, higher than previous reports averaging 56%. Patients with congenital heart disease were diagnosed earlier (median 0.3 years of age) than those without heart defects (median 5.6 years) and had greater mortality attributable to the syndrome (9.8% vs 2.4%, respectively). The differences in frequencies of major anomalies may be due to growing awareness of more subtle manifestations of the syndrome, differences in clinical ascertainment or the presence of modifier factors. These observations provide additional data useful for patient counseling and for the proposal of health care guidelines.