Publications by authors named "Kim M Keppler-Noreuil"

43 Publications

A dyadic approach to the delineation of diagnostic entities in clinical genomics.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 01;108(1):8-15

Section of Genetics and Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA.

The delineation of disease entities is complex, yet recent advances in the molecular characterization of diseases provide opportunities to designate diseases in a biologically valid manner. Here, we have formalized an approach to the delineation of Mendelian genetic disorders that encompasses two distinct but inter-related concepts: (1) the gene that is mutated and (2) the phenotypic descriptor, preferably a recognizably distinct phenotype. We assert that only by a combinatorial or dyadic approach taking both of these attributes into account can a unitary, distinct genetic disorder be designated. We propose that all Mendelian disorders should be designated as "GENE-related phenotype descriptor" (e.g., "CFTR-related cystic fibrosis"). This approach to delineating and naming disorders reconciles the complexity of gene-to-phenotype relationships in a simple and clear manner yet communicates the complexity and nuance of these relationships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.11.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7820621PMC
January 2021

Recurrent constellations of embryonic malformations re-conceptualized as an overlapping group of disorders with shared pathogenesis.

Am J Med Genet A 2020 11 14;182(11):2646-2661. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Division of Genetics and Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Several recurrent malformation associations affecting the development of the embryo have been described in which a genetic etiology has not been found, including LBWC, MURCS, OAVS, OEIS, POC, VACTERL, referred to here as "recurrent constellations of embryonic malformations" (RCEM). All are characterized by an excess of reported monozygotic discordant twins and lack of familial recurrence. We performed a comprehensive review of published twin data across all six phenotypes to allow a more robust assessment of the association with twinning and potential embryologic timing of a disruptive event. We recorded the type of twinning, any overlapping features of another RCEM, maternal characteristics, and the use of ART. Statistically significant associations included an excess of monozygotic twins and 80% discordance rate for the phenotype across all twins. There was an 18.5% rate of ART and no consistently reported maternal adverse events during pregnancy. We found 24 instances of co-occurrence of two RCEM, suggesting a shared pathogenesis across all RCEM phenotypes. We hypothesize the following timing for RCEM phenotypes from the earliest perturbation in development to the latest: LBWC, POC, OEIS, VACTERL, OAVS, then MURCS. The RCEM group of conditions should be considered a spectrum that could be studied as a group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.61847DOI Listing
November 2020

Allelic heterogeneity of Proteus syndrome.

Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud 2020 06 12;6(3). Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

Proteus syndrome is a mosaic disorder that can cause progressive postnatal overgrowth of nearly any organ or tissue. To date, Proteus syndrome has been exclusively associated with the mosaic c.49G > A p.(Glu17Lys) pathogenic variant in , a variant that is also present in many cancers. Here we describe an individual with severe Proteus syndrome who died at 7.5 yr of age from combined parenchymal and restrictive pulmonary disease. Remarkably, this individual was found to harbor a mosaic c.49_50delinsAG p.(Glu17Arg) variant in at a variant allele fraction that ranged from <0.01 to 0.46 in fibroblasts established from an overgrown digit. This variant was demonstrated to be constitutively activating by phosphorylation of AKT(S473). These data document allelic heterogeneity for Proteus syndrome. We recommend that individuals with a potential clinical diagnosis of Proteus syndrome who are negative for the p.(Glu17Lys) variant be tested for other variants in .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/mcs.a005181DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7304363PMC
June 2020

A dyadic genotype-phenotype approach to diagnostic criteria for Proteus syndrome.

Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet 2019 12 6;181(4):565-570. Epub 2019 Nov 6.

National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Phenotype-based diagnostic criteria were developed for Proteus syndrome in 1999 and updated in 2006. Subsequently, the causative mosaic gene alteration was discovered, the c.49G>A p.E17K variant in AKT1. As well, a number of overlapping overgrowth disorders attributable to mosaic PIK3CA variants have now been characterized, leading to the designation of PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS). Finally, ongoing work to better characterize Proteus syndrome has led to identification of additional features of that disorder that could be useful in diagnostic criteria. We have taken the opportunity of these discoveries to re-evaluate the Proteus syndrome diagnostic criteria. Here we propose a new set of diagnostic criteria that establishes a weighted, point-based system for the phenotypic attributes and then integrates that with the potential molecular test results to result in one of two designations: AKT1-related Proteus syndrome or AKT1-related overgrowth spectrum. A patient whose only manifestation is an AKT1 c.49G>A-positive tumor would receive neither of these designations. Here we review the rational basis of diagnostic criteria and argue that a unitary diagnostic entity is a distinct gene-phenotype dyad and that this should be the model for all mendelian disorders. The gene-alone or phenotype-alone approach is inadequate to rigorously delineate a unitary diagnostic entity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.c.31744DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7520016PMC
December 2019

Thrombosis risk factors in PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum and Proteus syndrome.

Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet 2019 12 6;181(4):571-581. Epub 2019 Sep 6.

Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Increased risk of thromboembolism has been recognized in individuals with mosaic overgrowth disorders, Proteus syndrome (PS) and PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS), including Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome and CLOVES syndrome. PS and PROS have distinct, yet overlapping clinical findings and are caused by somatic pathogenic variants in the PI3K/AKT gene signaling pathway. PS is caused by a single somatic activating AKT1 c.49G > A p.E17K variant while PROS can be caused one of multiple variants in PIK3CA. The role of prothrombotic factors, endothelial cell adhesion molecules, and vascular malformations in both PS and PROS have not been previously investigated. A pilot study of prospective clinical and laboratory evaluations with the purposes of identifying potential risk factors for thrombosis was conducted. Doppler ultrasounds and magnetic resonance angiogram/ venography (MRA/MRV) scans identified vascular malformations in PS and PROS that were not appreciated on physical examination. Abnormal D-dimers (0.60-2.0 mcg/ml) occurred in half of individuals, many having vascular malformations, but no thromboses. Soluble vascular endothelial markers, including thrombomodulin, soluble vascular adhesion molecule (sVCAM), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM), E-selectin, and P-selectin were significantly higher in PS and PROS compared to controls. However, no single attribute was identified that explained the risk of thrombosis. Predisposition to thrombosis is likely multifactorial with risk factors including chronic stasis within vascular malformations, stasis from impaired mobility (e.g., following surgery), decreased anticoagulant proteins, and effects of AKT1 and PIK3CA variants on vascular endothelium. Based on our findings, we propose clinical recommendations for surveillance of thrombosis in PS and PROS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.c.31735DOI Listing
December 2019

Molecular heterogeneity of the cerebriform connective tissue nevus in mosaic overgrowth syndromes.

Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud 2019 08 1;5(4). Epub 2019 Aug 1.

National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

The clinical diagnostic criteria for Proteus syndrome were defined before the discovery of the c.49G>A; p.(Glu17Lys) causal variant and used a combination of general and specific phenotypic attributes that could be combined to make a clinical diagnosis. The most heavily weighted specific criterion was the cerebriform connective tissue nevus (CCTN). Here, we describe two individuals with connective tissue nevi (CTNs) and some general attributes of Proteus syndrome who were found to have mosaic variants. CTNs on the soles of individuals with -related overgrowth typically exhibit thickening of the soft tissues with at most a wrinkled surface, but these two patients had firm plaques with ridges and furrows characteristic of CCTNs, which was histologically confirmed in one. These data show that CCTNs are not specific to Proteus syndrome and that clinicians should be cautious in diagnosing individuals with Proteus syndrome based on the CCTN alone. Rather, a complete evaluation should include careful assessment of other attributes of the diagnostic criteria and, whenever possible, genetic analysis of affected tissue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/mcs.a004036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6672027PMC
August 2019

A mouse model of Proteus syndrome.

Hum Mol Genet 2019 09;28(17):2920-2936

Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Proteus syndrome is a mosaic, progressive overgrowth disorder caused by a somatic activating variant c.49G > A p.(E17K) in AKT1. The presentation in affected individuals is variable, with a diversity of tissues demonstrating abnormalities. Common manifestations include skin and bony overgrowth, vascular malformations (VMs), cysts and benign tumors. We used two methods to create mouse models that had endogenously-regulated mosaic expression of the Proteus syndrome variant. Variant allele fractions (VAFs) ranged from 0% to 50% across numerous tissues in 44 Proteus syndrome mice. Mice were phenotypically heterogeneous with lesions rarely observed before 12 months of age. VMs were the most frequent finding with a total of 69 found in 29 of 44 Proteus syndrome mice. Twenty-eight cysts and ectasia, frequently biliary, were seen in 22 of 44 Proteus syndrome mice. Varying levels of mammary hyperplasia were seen in 10 of 16 female Proteus syndrome mice with other localized regions of hyperplasia and stromal expansion noted in several additional animals. Interestingly, 27 of 31 Proteus syndrome animals had non-zero blood VAF that is in contrast to the human disorder where it is rarely seen in peripheral blood. Identification of variant-positive cells by green fluorescent protein (GFP) staining in chimeric Proteus syndrome mice showed that in some lesions, hyperplastic cells were predominantly GFP/Akt1E17K-positive and showed increased pAKT signal compared to GFP-negative cells. However, hyperplastic mammary epithelium was a mixture of GFP/Akt1E17K-positive and negative cells with some GFP/Akt1E17K-negative cells also having increased pAKT signal suggesting that the variant-positive cells can induce lesion formation in a non-cell autonomous manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddz116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6736390PMC
September 2019

Pharmacodynamic Study of Miransertib in Individuals with Proteus Syndrome.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 03 22;104(3):484-491. Epub 2019 Feb 22.

Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address:

Proteus syndrome is a life-threatening segmental overgrowth syndrome caused by a mosaic gain-of-function AKT1 variant. There are no effective treatments for Proteus syndrome. Miransertib is an AKT1 inhibitor that, prior to this study, has been evaluated only in adult oncology trials. We designed a non-randomized, phase 0/1 pilot study of miransertib in adults and children with Proteus syndrome to identify an appropriate dosage starting point for a future efficacy trial using a pharmacodynamic endpoint. The primary endpoint was a 50% reduction in the tissue levels of AKT phosphorylation from biopsies in affected individuals. We also evaluated secondary efficacy endpoints. We found that a dose of 5 mg/m/day (1/7 the typical dose used in oncology) led to a 50% reduction in phosphorylated AKT (pAKT) in affected tissues from five of six individuals. This dose was well tolerated. Two of the six efficacy endpoints (secondary objectives) suggested that this agent may be efficacious. We observed a decrease in a cerebriform connective tissue nevus and a reduction in pain in children. We conclude that 5 mg/m/day of miransertib is an appropriate starting point for future efficacy trials and that this agent shows promise of therapeutic efficacy in children with Proteus syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.01.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6407523PMC
March 2019

Characterization of the hepatosplenic and portal venous findings in patients with Proteus syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2018 12 22;176(12):2677-2684. Epub 2018 Oct 22.

Liver Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Proteus syndrome (PS) is a rare disorder caused by a mosaic AKT1 variant that comprises patchy overgrowth of tissues derived from all three germinal layers affecting multiple viscera. We sought to delineate the extent of hepatoportal manifestations in patients with PS. We identified patients with PS who had abdominal imaging from 1989 to 2015 in a natural history study. Imaging was characterized for evidence of focal findings in the liver, spleen, and portal vasculature and for organomegaly. Relevant clinical and laboratory data were compared among those with or without organomegaly. Abdominal imaging was available on 38 patients including 20 who had serial studies. Nine patients had focal hepatic lesions including vascular malformations (VMs). Focal splenic abnormalities were noted in seven patients. Patients without cutaneous VMs did not have visceral VMs. Nine patients had splenomegaly, 12 had portal vein dilation, and 4 had hepatomegaly. There was a weak correlation of portal vein dilation to spleen height ratio (r = 0.18, p < .05). On laboratory evaluation, hepatic function was normal but there was thrombocytopenia in those with splenomegaly; platelet counts were 179 ± 87K/μL compared to those with normal spleen size at 253 ± 57K/μL (p < .05). Overall, focal hepatosplenic abnormalities occurred in 11 of 38 (29%) patients with PS. Splenomegaly and portal venous dilation were both found in 8 of 38 (21%) patients; however, other than relative thrombocytopenia, there was no evidence of portal hypertension. Although the AKT1-E17K somatic variant is a suspected oncogene, there were no malignant lesions identified in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.40636DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8020299PMC
December 2018

Safety and efficacy of low-dose sirolimus in the PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum.

Genet Med 2019 05 1;21(5):1189-1198. Epub 2018 Oct 1.

Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Purpose: PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS) encompasses a range of debilitating conditions defined by asymmetric overgrowth caused by mosaic activating PIK3CA variants. PIK3CA encodes the p110α catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K), a critical transducer of growth factor signaling. As mTOR mediates the growth-promoting actions of PI3K, we hypothesized that the mTOR inhibitor sirolimus would slow pathological overgrowth.

Methods: Thirty-nine participants with PROS and progressive overgrowth were enrolled into open-label studies across three centers, and results were pooled. For the primary outcome, tissue volumes at affected and unaffected sites were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry during 26 weeks of untreated run-in and 26 weeks of sirolimus therapy.

Results: Thirty participants completed the study. Sirolimus led to a change in mean percentage total tissue volume of -7.2% (SD 16.0, p = 0.04) at affected sites, but not at unaffected sites (+1.7%, SD 11.5, p = 0.48) (n = 23 evaluable). Twenty-eight of 39 (72%) participants had ≥1 adverse event related to sirolimus of which 37% were grade 3 or 4 in severity and 7/39 (18%) participants were withdrawn consequently.

Conclusion: This study suggests that low-dose sirolimus can modestly reduce overgrowth, but cautions that the side-effect profile is significant, mandating individualized risk-benefit evaluations for sirolimus treatment in PROS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-018-0297-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6752269PMC
May 2019

Descriptive epidemiology of cerebellar hypoplasia in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.

Birth Defects Res 2018 11 19;110(19):1419-1432. Epub 2018 Sep 19.

Congenital Malformations Registry, NYS Department of Health, Albany, New York.

Background: Cerebellar hypoplasia is a rare disorder of cerebellar formation in which the cerebellum is not completely developed, smaller than it should be, or completely absent. The prevalence of cerebellar hypoplasia at birth is unknown, and little is known about epidemiological risk factors. Using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS), a population-based, case-control study, we analyzed clinical features and potential risk factors for nonsyndromic cerebellar hypoplasia.

Methods: The NBDPS included pregnancies with estimated delivery dates from 1997-2011. We described clinical features of cerebellar hypoplasia cases from the study area. We explored risk factors for cerebellar hypoplasia (case characteristics, demographics, pregnancy characteristics, maternal health conditions, maternal medication use, and maternal behavioral exposures) by comparing cases to non-malformed live born control infants. We calculated crude odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals using logistic regression models.

Results: We identified 87 eligible cerebellar hypoplasia cases and 55 mothers who participated in the NBDPS. There were no differences in clinical features between interviewed and non-interviewed cases. Cerebellar hypoplasia cases were more likely than controls to be from a multiple pregnancy, be born preterm, and have low birth weight. Cerebellar hypoplasia cases were more likely to be born in or after 2005, as opposed to earlier in NBDPS. We found elevated ORs that were not statistically significant for maternal use of vasoactive medications, non-Hispanic black mothers, and mothers with a history of hypertension.

Conclusions: Although unadjusted, our findings from a large, population-based study can contribute to new hypotheses regarding the etiology of cerebellar hypoplasia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bdr2.1388DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6265081PMC
November 2018

Mosaic RAS/MAPK variants cause sporadic vascular malformations which respond to targeted therapy.

J Clin Invest 2018 04 12;128(4):1496-1508. Epub 2018 Mar 12.

Genetics and Genomic Medicine, University College London (UCL) Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Sporadic vascular malformations (VMs) are complex congenital anomalies of blood vessels that lead to stroke, life-threatening bleeds, disfigurement, overgrowth, and/or pain. Therapeutic options are severely limited, and multidisciplinary management remains challenging, particularly for high-flow arteriovenous malformations (AVM).

Methods: To investigate the pathogenesis of sporadic intracranial and extracranial VMs in 160 children in which known genetic causes had been excluded, we sequenced DNA from affected tissue and optimized analysis for detection of low mutant allele frequency.

Results: We discovered multiple mosaic-activating variants in 4 genes of the RAS/MAPK pathway, KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, and MAP2K1, a pathway commonly activated in cancer and responsible for the germline RAS-opathies. These variants were more frequent in high-flow than low-flow VMs. In vitro characterization and 2 transgenic zebrafish AVM models that recapitulated the human phenotype validated the pathogenesis of the mutant alleles. Importantly, treatment of AVM-BRAF mutant zebrafish with the BRAF inhibitor vemurafinib restored blood flow in AVM.

Conclusion: Our findings uncover a major cause of sporadic VMs of different clinical types and thereby offer the potential of personalized medical treatment by repurposing existing licensed cancer therapies.

Funding: This work was funded or supported by grants from the AVM Butterfly Charity, the Wellcome Trust (UK), the Medical Research Council (UK), the UK National Institute for Health Research, the L'Oreal-Melanoma Research Alliance, the European Research Council, and the National Human Genome Research Institute (US).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI98589DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5873857PMC
April 2018

Orthopaedic Management of Leg-length Discrepancy in Proteus Syndrome: A Case Series.

J Pediatr Orthop 2018 Mar;38(3):e138-e144

Children's National Health System, NW, Washington, DC.

Introduction: Proteus syndrome (PS) is a rare mosaic disorder comprising asymmetric bony and soft tissue overgrowth leading to significant morbidity. Placement of growth inhibition hardware with subsequent epiphyseal arrest improves leg-length and angular deformities in pediatric patients without PS. The purpose of this study was to review the surgical approach and present outcomes, complications, and recommendations in 8 patients with PS and leg-length discrepancy (LLD).

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 8 patients with PS whose primary reason for surgery was LLD. Patients were eligible if they met clinical diagnostic criteria for PS and if the National Institutes of Health team performed at least 1 of their surgical interventions between 2005 and 2015. Surgical techniques included growth inhibition, with tension band plates, applied ≥1 times, and epiphyseal arrest.

Results: Eight patients, followed for an average of 4.6 years (range, 1.0 to 7.1 y) after the index procedure, were included in this analysis. Average age at first LLD surgery was 9.4 years (range, 6.1 to 13.6 y); the average LLD was 3.4 cm (range, 0.4 to 7.0 cm) at presentation, and 5.0 cm (range, 1.8 to 10.0 cm) at the time of the first LLD surgery. Participants underwent 23 total surgeries (range, 1 to 5 per patient) and 7 patients have completed surgical intervention. For the 7 patients who did not require overcorrection the average LLD at the last clinical encounter was 2.6 cm (range, 0.6 to 7.2 cm). We encountered 2 complications: 2 patients developed mild knee valgus, which responded to standard guided growth techniques.

Conclusions: This case series suggests that growth inhibition and epiphyseal arrest in children with PS can reduce LLD with few complications. Careful monitoring, rapid mobilization, deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis, and sequential compression devices were also integral elements of our surgical protocol.

Level Of Evidence: Level IV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001121DOI Listing
March 2018

Urine cell-free DNA is a biomarker for nephroblastomatosis or Wilms tumor in PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS).

Genet Med 2018 09 4;20(9):1077-1081. Epub 2018 Jan 4.

Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Purpose: We set out to facilitate the molecular diagnosis of patients with PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS), a heterogeneous somatic disorder characterized by variable presentations of segmental overgrowth, vascular malformations, skin lesions, and nephroblastomatosis, rare precursor lesions to Wilms tumor. Molecular diagnosis of PROS is challenging due to its mosaic nature, often requiring invasive biopsies.

Methods: Digital droplet polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) was used to analyze tissues including urine, saliva, buccal cells, and blood, from eight patients with PROS. Further analyses were performed on plasma and urine cell-free DNA (cfDNA).

Results: PIK3CA variants were detected in plasma cfDNA at levels up to 0.5% in 50% of tested samples. In addition, high levels of PIK3CA variants in urine cfDNA correlated with a history of nephroblastomatosis compared with patients without renal involvement (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Digital droplet PCR is a sensitive molecular tool that enables low-level variant detection of PIK3CA in various tissue types, providing an alternative diagnostic method. Furthermore, urine cfDNA is a candidate biomarker for nephroblastomatosis in PROS, which may be useful to refine screening guidelines for tumor risk in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/gim.2017.228DOI Listing
September 2018

Pathogenetic insights from quantification of the cerebriform connective tissue nevus in Proteus syndrome.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2018 04 16;78(4):725-732. Epub 2017 Oct 16.

Department of Dermatology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. Electronic address:

Background: The plantar cerebriform connective tissue nevus (CCTN) is the most common and problematic cutaneous manifestation of Proteus syndrome.

Objective: To gain insights into CCTN pathogenesis and natural history.

Methods: The size and location of plantar CCTN was measured on 152 images from 22 individuals with Proteus syndrome by 2 independent, blinded reviewers. Average measures of plantar CCTN were transformed into a linear mixed model to estimate proportionate change in size with age.

Results: Median patient age was 6.9 years at study onset. The intraclass correlation coefficient between 2 blinded reviewers was 0.946 for CCTN single measures. The CCTN relative area increased with age in children (n = 18, P < .0001) by 5.6% per year. Confluent papules and nodules extending beyond the boundaries of CCTNs were gradually replaced by typical CCTN over time. The location of CCTN in different individuals overlapped near the ball of the foot. A positive relationship between CCTN growth rate and AKT1 mutant allele frequency was observed (0.62, P = .10, n = 8).

Limitations: This was a retrospective review using photographs.

Conclusion: CCTN growth is affected by age and extent of the CCTN precursor lesion. Monitoring of CCTN size might prove useful for evaluating drug response in the treatment of Proteus syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2017.10.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5857242PMC
April 2018

Clinical and risk factor analysis of cloacal defects in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.

Am J Med Genet A 2017 Nov 28;173(11):2873-2885. Epub 2017 Sep 28.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa College of Public Health, Iowa City, Iowa.

Cloacal exstrophy (CE) and persistent cloaca (PC) (alternatively termed urorectal septum malformation sequence [URSMS]), represent two major cloacal defects (CDs). Clinical characteristics and risk factors often are studied for both defects combined, rather than exploring if these defects have different etiologies. We enumerated clinical features for 47 CE and 54 PC (inclusive of URSMS) cases from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Thirty-three CE cases were classified as isolated and 14 as multiple (presence of unassociated major defects); respective totals for PC cases were 26 and 28. We compared selected child and maternal characteristics between 11,829 non-malformed controls and CE and PC cases using chi-square or Fisher's exact tests. Compared to controls, CE and PC cases were statistically more likely (p < 0.05) to be preterm; CE cases were more likely to be multiple births. We conducted logistic regression analysis to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for any CD, CE, and PC with selected self-reported maternal prepregnancy and periconceptional (one month prior to 3 months following conception) exposures. In crude and adjusted analyses, we observed significant positive associations for any CD, CE, and PC with use of any fertility medication or assisted reproductive technology procedure. Significant positive associations observed only in crude analyses were any CD with maternal obesity or use of progesterone, any CD and CE with any x-ray, and any CD and PC with use of folate antagonist medications. Our findings provide some of the first insights into potential differing etiologies for CE and PC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5650529PMC
November 2017

Characterization of thrombosis in patients with Proteus syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2017 Sep 19;173(9):2359-2365. Epub 2017 Jun 19.

Medical Genomics Metabolic Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Patients with overgrowth and complex vascular malformation syndromes, including Proteus syndrome have an increased risk of thromboembolism. Proteus syndrome is a mosaic, progressive overgrowth disorder involving vasculature, skin, and skeleton, and caused by a somatic activating mutation in AKT1. We conducted a comprehensive review of the medical histories and hematologic evaluations of 57 patients with Proteus syndrome to identify potential risk factors for thrombosis. We found that six of ten patients, who were deceased, died secondary to deep venous thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism. Of the remaining 47 living patients, six had thromboembolic events that all occurred postoperatively and in an affected limb. Eleven of 21 patients had an abnormal hypercoagulable panel including Factor V Leiden heterozygotes, antithrombin III deficiency, positive lupus anticoagulant, or Protein C or S deficiencies. We observed that eight of 17 patients had an abnormal D-dimer level >0.5 mcg/dl, but deep venous thromboses occurred in only four of those with D-dimer >1.0 mcg/dl. We conclude that the predisposition to thrombosis is likely to be multifaceted with risk factors including vascular malformations, immobility, surgery, additional prothrombotic factors, and possible pathophysiologic effects of the somatic AKT1 mutation on platelet function or the vascular endothelium. The D-dimer test is useful as a screen for thromboembolism, although the screening threshold may need to be adjusted for patients with this disorder. We propose developing a registry to collect D-dimer and outcome data to facilitate adjustment of the D-dimer threshold for Proteus syndrome and related disorders, including PIK3CA-Related Overgrowth Spectrum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38311DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5592090PMC
September 2017

37th Annual David W. Smith Workshop on Malformations and Morphogenesis: Abstracts of the 2016 Annual Meeting.

Am J Med Genet A 2017 08 24;173(8):2007-2073. Epub 2017 May 24.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The 37th Annual David W. Smith Workshop on Malformations and Morphogenesis occurred on September 9th-14th, 2016 at the University of California-Los Angeles Conference Center in Lake Arrowhead, CA. The Workshop, which honors the legacy of David W. Smith, brought together clinicians and researchers interested in congenital malformations and their underlying mechanisms of morphogenesis. The Workshop highlighted five themes besides mechanisms of morphogenesis and New Syndromes: Neural Crestopathies, Mosaicism, Disorders of Skin Pigmentation, Therapies, and Ear Malformations and Hearing Loss. This Conference Report includes the abstracts presented at the 2016 Workshop.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38229DOI Listing
August 2017

Mosaic Disorders of the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/TSC/mTORC1 Signaling Pathway.

Dermatol Clin 2017 Jan;35(1):51-60

Department of Dermatology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. Electronic address:

Somatic mutations in genes of the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/TSC/mTORC1 signaling pathway cause segmental overgrowth, hamartomas, and malignant tumors. Mosaicism for activating mutations in AKT1 or PIK3CA cause Proteus syndrome and PIK3CA-Related Overgrowth Spectrum, respectively. Postzygotic mutations in PTEN or TSC1/TSC2 cause mosaic forms of PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome or tuberous sclerosis complex, respectively. Distinct features observed in these mosaic conditions in part reflect differences in embryological timing or tissue type harboring the mutant cells. Deep sequencing of affected tissue is useful for diagnosis. Drugs targeting mTORC1 or other points along this signaling pathway are in clinical trials to treat these disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.det.2016.07.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5130114PMC
January 2017

Somatic overgrowth disorders of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway & therapeutic strategies.

Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet 2016 12 18;172(4):402-421. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway plays an essential role in regulation of normal cell growth, metabolism, and survival. Somatic activating mutations in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway are among the most common mutations identified in cancer, and have been shown to cause a spectrum of overgrowth syndromes including PIK3CA-Related Overgrowth Spectrum, Proteus syndrome, and brain overgrowth conditions. Clinical findings in these disorders may be isolated or multiple, including sporadic or mosaic overgrowth (adipose, skeletal, muscle, brain, vascular, or lymphatic), and skin abnormalities (including epidermal nevi, hyper-, and hypopigmented lesions), and have the potential risk of tumorigenesis. Key negative regulators of the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway include PTEN and TSC1/TSC2 and germline loss-of function mutations of these genes are established to cause PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Mosaic forms of these conditions lead to increased activation of PI3K and mTOR at affected sites and there is phenotypic overlap between these conditions. All are associated with significant morbidity with limited options for treatment other than symptomatic therapies and surgeries. As dysregulation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway has been implicated in cancer, several small molecule inhibitors targeting different components of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway are under clinical investigation. The development of these therapies brings closer the prospect of targeting treatment for somatic PI3K/AKT/mTOR-related overgrowth syndromes. This review describes the clinical findings, gene function and pathogenesis of these mosaic overgrowth syndromes, and presents existing and future treatment strategies to reduce or prevent associated complications of these disorders. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.c.31531DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5592089PMC
December 2016

Somatic AKT1 mutations cause meningiomas colocalizing with a characteristic pattern of cranial hyperostosis.

Am J Med Genet A 2016 10 23;170(10):2605-10. Epub 2016 Aug 23.

Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics Branch, National Human Genetics Research Branch, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Somatic genetic mutations in meningiomas are associated with histologic subtypes, anatomical location, and grade. Concomitant hyperostosis occurs with some meningiomas and the pathogenesis is not well understood. Cranial hyperostosis and meningiomas are common in patients with Proteus syndrome, which is caused by a somatic activating mutation in AKT1 c.49G>A. This same mutation has also been found in 6-9% of sporadic non-syndromic meningiomas. Sixty-one patients with Proteus syndrome meeting clinical diagnostic criteria were evaluated at the NIH from 1997 to 2014. Of these 61, 52 had a somatic activating mutation (c.49G>A, p.Glu17Lys) in AKT1 confirmed from affected tissue samples. Photographs, physical examination and/or autopsy, X-rays, CT, and/or MRI scan of the head were reviewed in 29/52 patients. Of the 29 patients, the most common intracranial tumor was meningioma, all co-localizing with cranial hyperostosis, and diagnosed at younger ages than typical for isolated, non-syndromic meningiomas. These patients had progressive cranial overgrowth that consisted primarily of diploic space expansion, and was characterized by unilateral, parasagittal, and frontal bone involvement. We hypothesize that sporadic meningothelial and transitional subtype meningiomas are a forme fruste or microform of Proteus syndrome, and activation of the AKT/PI3K pathway drives hyperostosis in both non-syndromic, and Proteus-related meningiomas. © 2016 The Authors. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.37737DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5580816PMC
October 2016

Twinning and major birth defects, National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997-2007.

J Epidemiol Community Health 2016 11 20;70(11):1114-1121. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Background: Twinning has been associated with many types of birth defects, although previous studies have had inconsistent findings. Many studies lack information about potential confounders, particularly use of fertility treatment. Our objective was to assess the association between twinning and birth defects in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS).

Methods: We used data from the NBDPS, a population-based, case-control study of major birth defects in the USA, to evaluate associations between twinning and birth defects. The study population included mothers of twin and singleton controls (live-born infants without major birth defects), and cases (fetuses or infants with a major birth defect) born October 1997-December 2007. Adjusted ORs and 95% CIs were estimated using multivariable logistic regression stratified by use of fertility treatment. Twin sex-pairing data and a simulation approach were used to estimate the zygosity of twins.

Results: In the unassisted conception stratum, we observed significant positive associations between twinning and 29 of 45 defect groups. The largest effect estimates were observed for multiple ventricular septal defects and cloacal exstrophy. Among mothers reporting any use of fertility treatments, we observed a significant association with twinning for 5 of 25 defect groups, with the largest effect estimates for hypoplastic left heart syndrome and omphalocele. OR estimates in the estimated monozygotic stratum were generally further from the null than in the dizygotic stratum.

Conclusions: Compared with singletons, a wide range of birth defects are significantly more common among twins. Birth defect risk in twins may be differential by use of fertility treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2015-206302DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5299593PMC
November 2016

Nephroblastomatosis or Wilms tumor in a fourth patient with a somatic PIK3CA mutation.

Am J Med Genet A 2016 10 18;170(10):2559-69. Epub 2016 May 18.

National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Wilms tumor and nephroblastomatosis are associated with syndromic conditions including hemihyperplasia. Hemihyperplasia is genetically heterogeneous and may be the result of genomic abnormalities seen in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, mosaic chromosome or genomic abnormalities, or somatic point mutations. Somatic missense mutations affecting the PI3K-AKT-MTOR pathway result in segmental overgrowth and are present in numerous benign and malignant tumors. Here, we report a fourth patient with asymmetric overgrowth due to a somatic PIK3CA mutation who had nephroblastomatosis or Wilms tumor. Similar to two of three reported patients with a somatic PIK3CA mutation and renal tumors, he shared a PIK3CA mutation affecting codon 1047, presented at birth with asymmetric overgrowth, and had fibroadipose overgrowth. Codon 1047 is most commonly affected by somatic mutations in PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS). While the fibroadipose overgrowth phenotype appears to be common in individuals with PIK3CA mutations at codon 1047, individuals with a clinical diagnosis of Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome or isolated lymphatic malformation also had mutations affecting this amino acid. Screening for Wilms tumor in individuals with PROS-related hemihyperplasia may be considered and, until the natural history is fully elucidated in larger cohort studies, may follow guidelines for Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, or isolated hemihyperplasia. It is not known if the specific PIK3CA mutation, the mosaic distribution, or the clinical presentation affect the Wilms tumor or nephroblastomatosis risk in individuals with PROS. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.37758DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514817PMC
October 2016

The Fourth International Symposium on Genetic Disorders of the Ras/MAPK pathway.

Am J Med Genet A 2016 08 7;170(8):1959-66. Epub 2016 May 7.

National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland.

The RASopathies are a group of disorders due to variations of genes associated with the Ras/MAPK pathway. Some of the RASopathies include neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), Noonan syndrome, Noonan syndrome with multiple lentigines, cardiofaciocutaneous (CFC) syndrome, Costello syndrome, Legius syndrome, and capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation (CM-AVM) syndrome. In combination, the RASopathies are a frequent group of genetic disorders. This report summarizes the proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Genetic Disorders of the Ras/MAPK pathway and highlights gaps in the field. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.37723DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4945362PMC
August 2016

A Point Mutation in PDGFRB Causes Autosomal-Dominant Penttinen Syndrome.

Am J Hum Genet 2015 Sep 13;97(3):465-74. Epub 2015 Aug 13.

Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address:

Penttinen syndrome is a distinctive disorder characterized by a prematurely aged appearance with lipoatrophy, epidermal and dermal atrophy along with hypertrophic lesions that resemble scars, thin hair, proptosis, underdeveloped cheekbones, and marked acro-osteolysis. All individuals have been simplex cases. Exome sequencing of an affected individual identified a de novo c.1994T>C p.Val665Ala variant in PDGFRB, which encodes the platelet-derived growth factor receptor β. Three additional unrelated individuals with this condition were shown to have the identical variant in PDGFRB. Distinct mutations in PDGFRB have been shown to cause infantile myofibromatosis, idiopathic basal ganglia calcification, and an overgrowth disorder with dysmorphic facies and psychosis, none of which overlaps with the clinical findings in Penttinen syndrome. We evaluated the functional consequence of this causative variant on the PDGFRB signaling pathway by transfecting mutant and wild-type cDNA into HeLa cells, and transfection showed ligand-independent constitutive signaling through STAT3 and PLCγ. Penttinen syndrome is a clinically distinct genetic condition caused by a PDGFRB gain-of-function mutation that is associated with a specific and unusual perturbation of receptor function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.07.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4564935PMC
September 2015

Risk factors for Dandy-Walker malformation: a population-based assessment.

Am J Med Genet A 2015 Sep 1;167A(9):2009-16. Epub 2015 May 1.

Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM) is the most common congenital malformation of the cerebellum, but its causes are largely unknown. An increasing number of genes associated with congenital cerebellar malformations have been identified; however, few studies have examined the potential role of non-genetic, potentially modifiable risk factors. From the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, we examined maternal, paternal, and infant characteristics and maternal conditions and periconceptional exposures (from 1 month before to 3 months after conception) among infants with DWM (n = 160) and unaffected controls (n = 10,200), delivered between 1997 and 2009. Odds ratios, crude (cOR) and adjusted (aOR) were computed using logistic regression. Maternal factors associated with DWM included non-Hispanic black race/ethnicity (aOR = 2.0, 95%CI: 1.3-3.2). Among maternal conditions, a history of infertility increased the risk for DWM (all: aOR = 2.4, 95%CI: 1.3-4.6; multiple: aOR = 3.9, 95%CI: 1.7-8.9). The lack of association with many maternal exposures supports the hypothesis of a major contribution of genetic factors to the risk for DWM; however, the observed associations with maternal non-Hispanic black race/ethnicity and maternal history of infertility indicate that further research into factors underlying these characteristics may uncover potentially modifiable risk factors, acting alone or as a component of gene-environment interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.37124DOI Listing
September 2015

MATR3 disruption in human and mouse associated with bicuspid aortic valve, aortic coarctation and patent ductus arteriosus.

Hum Mol Genet 2015 Apr 7;24(8):2375-89. Epub 2015 Jan 7.

Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine,

Cardiac left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) defects represent a common but heterogeneous subset of congenital heart disease for which gene identification has been difficult. We describe a 46,XY,t(1;5)(p36.11;q31.2)dn translocation carrier with pervasive developmental delay who also exhibited LVOT defects, including bicuspid aortic valve (BAV), coarctation of the aorta (CoA) and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). The 1p breakpoint disrupts the 5' UTR of AHDC1, which encodes AT-hook DNA-binding motif containing-1 protein, and AHDC1-truncating mutations have recently been described in a syndrome that includes developmental delay, but not congenital heart disease [Xia, F., Bainbridge, M.N., Tan, T.Y., Wangler, M.F., Scheuerle, A.E., Zackai, E.H., Harr, M.H., Sutton, V.R., Nalam, R.L., Zhu, W. et al. (2014) De Novo truncating mutations in AHDC1 in individuals with syndromic expressive language delay, hypotonia, and sleep apnea. Am. J. Hum. Genet., 94, 784-789]. On the other hand, the 5q translocation breakpoint disrupts the 3' UTR of MATR3, which encodes the nuclear matrix protein Matrin 3, and mouse Matr3 is strongly expressed in neural crest, developing heart and great vessels, whereas Ahdc1 is not. To further establish MATR3 3' UTR disruption as the cause of the proband's LVOT defects, we prepared a mouse Matr3(Gt-ex13) gene trap allele that disrupted the 3' portion of the gene. Matr3(Gt-ex13) homozygotes are early embryo lethal, but Matr3(Gt-ex13) heterozygotes exhibit incompletely penetrant BAV, CoA and PDA phenotypes similar to those in the human proband, as well as ventricular septal defect (VSD) and double-outlet right ventricle (DORV). Both the human MATR3 translocation breakpoint and the mouse Matr3(Gt-ex13) gene trap insertion disturb the polyadenylation of MATR3 transcripts and alter Matrin 3 protein expression, quantitatively or qualitatively. Thus, subtle perturbations in Matrin 3 expression appear to cause similar LVOT defects in human and mouse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddv004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4380077PMC
April 2015

PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS): diagnostic and testing eligibility criteria, differential diagnosis, and evaluation.

Am J Med Genet A 2015 Feb 31;167A(2):287-95. Epub 2014 Dec 31.

National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Somatic activating mutations in the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/AKT/mTOR pathway underlie heterogeneous segmental overgrowth phenotypes. Because of the extreme differences among patients, we sought to characterize the phenotypic spectrum associated with different genotypes and mutation burdens, including a better understanding of associated complications and natural history. Historically, the clinical diagnoses in patients with PIK3CA activating mutations have included Fibroadipose hyperplasia or Overgrowth (FAO), Hemihyperplasia Multiple Lipomatosis (HHML), Congenital Lipomatous Overgrowth, Vascular Malformations, Epidermal Nevi, Scoliosis/Skeletal and Spinal (CLOVES) syndrome, macrodactyly, Fibroadipose Infiltrating Lipomatosis, and the related megalencephaly syndromes, Megalencephaly-Capillary Malformation (MCAP or M-CM) and Dysplastic Megalencephaly (DMEG). A workshop was convened at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to discuss and develop a consensus document regarding diagnosis and treatment of patients with PIK3CA-associated somatic overgrowth disorders. Participants in the workshop included a group of researchers from several institutions who have been studying these disorders and have published their findings, as well as representatives from patient-advocacy and support groups. The umbrella term of "PIK3CA-Related Overgrowth Spectrum (PROS)" was agreed upon to encompass both the known and emerging clinical entities associated with somatic PIK3CA mutations including, macrodactyly, FAO, HHML, CLOVES, and related megalencephaly conditions. Key clinical diagnostic features and criteria for testing were proposed, and testing approaches summarized. Preliminary recommendations for a uniform approach to assessment of overgrowth and molecular diagnostic testing were determined. Future areas to address include the surgical management of overgrowth tissue and vascular anomalies, the optimal approach to thrombosis risk, and the testing of potential pharmacologic therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.36836DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4480633PMC
February 2015

Assessment of congenital anomalies in infants born to pregnant women enrolled in clinical trials.

Clin Infect Dis 2014 Dec;59 Suppl 7:S428-36

University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City.

In 2011 and 2012, the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, held a series of meetings to provide guidance to investigators regarding study design of clinical trials of vaccines and antimicrobial medications that enroll pregnant women. Assessment of congenital anomalies among infants born to women enrolled in these trials was recognized as a challenging issue, and a workgroup with expertise in epidemiology, pediatrics, genetics, dysmorphology, clinical trials, and infectious diseases was formed to address this issue. The workgroup considered 3 approaches for congenital anomalies assessment that have been developed for use in other studies: (1) maternal report combined with medical records review, (2) standardized photographic assessment and physical examination by a health professional who has received specific training in congenital anomalies, and (3) standardized physical examination by a trained dysmorphologist (combined with maternal interview and medical records review). The strengths and limitations of these approaches were discussed with regard to their use in clinical trials. None of the approaches was deemed appropriate for use in all clinical trials. Instead, the workgroup acknowledged that decisions regarding the optimal method of assessment of congenital anomalies will likely vary depending on the clinical trial, its setting, and the agent under study; in some cases, a combination of approaches may be appropriate. The workgroup recognized the need for more research on approaches to the assessment of congenital anomalies to better guide investigators in optimal design of clinical trials that enroll pregnant women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciu738DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303054PMC
December 2014