Ozbek MN, Senée V, Aydemir S, Kotan LD, Mungan NO, Yuksel B, Julier C, Topaloglu AK. Wolcott–Rallison syndrome due to the same mutation (W522X) in EIF2AK3 in two unrelated families and review of the literature.
Wolcott-Rallison syndrome (WRS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by an early-infancy-onset diabetes mellitus associated with a variety of multisystemic clinical manifestations. Here, we present six patients with WRS, carrying the same homozygous mutation (EIF2AK3-W522X), from two unrelated Turkish families. This is the largest series of patients with the same mutation for this rare syndrome. In this communication we compare clinical features of these six patients with the other 34 patients who have been reported to date, and review the clinical features of WRS.
All WRS patients presented first with symptoms of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, with a mean age at onset of 2 months. All patients had skeletal dysplasia or early signs of it, and growth retardation. Many of the patients with WRS have been reported to have developmental delay, mental retardation, and learning difficulties; in contrast, none of our patients showed abnormal development at age up to 30 months. Acute attacks of hepatic failure were reported in 23 cases out of 37 patients; in 15 of those 23 cases an acute attack of renal failure accompanied the liver failure. Exocrine pancreatic deficiency has been reported in only four cases other than our four patients. Central hypothyroidism was observed in six of 28 cases. We propose that central hypothyroidism is not a component of WRS, but rather a reflection of euthyroid sick syndrome. Four of our patients experienced severe neutropenia, compared to only five of the 27 other cases, suggesting that the W522X mutation may be specifically associated with neutropenia.
Other than the consistent features of diabetes mellitus and epiphyseal dysplasia, WRS patients are otherwise characterized by extensive phenotypic variability that correlates poorly to genotype.