JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Prader-Willi syndrome

Suzanne B Cassidy, Stuart Schwartz, Jennifer L Miller, Daniel J Driscoll
Genetics in Medicine: Official Journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 2012, 14 (1): 10-26
22237428
Prader-Willi syndrome is characterized by severe infantile hypotonia with poor suck and failure to thrive; hypogonadism causing genital hypoplasia and pubertal insufficiency; characteristic facial features; early-childhood onset obesity and hyperphagia; developmental delay/mild intellectual disability; short stature; and a distinctive behavioral phenotype. Sleep abnormalities and scoliosis are common. Growth hormone insufficiency is frequent, and replacement therapy provides improvement in growth, body composition, and physical attributes. Management is otherwise largely supportive. Consensus clinical diagnostic criteria exist, but diagnosis should be confirmed through genetic testing. Prader-Willi syndrome is due to absence of paternally expressed imprinted genes at 15q11.2-q13 through paternal deletion of this region (65-75% of individuals), maternal uniparental disomy 15 (20-30%), or an imprinting defect (1-3%). Parent-specific DNA methylation analysis will detect >99% of individuals. However, additional genetic studies are necessary to identify the molecular class. There are multiple imprinted genes in this region, the loss of which contribute to the complete phenotype of Prader-Willi syndrome. However, absence of a small nucleolar organizing RNA gene, SNORD116, seems to reproduce many of the clinical features. Sibling recurrence risk is typically <1%, but higher risks may pertain in certain cases. Prenatal diagnosis is available.

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