Clinical profile and genetic basis of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome at Chandigarh, North India.
ABSTRACT The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is a rare X-linked immunodeficiency disorder characterized by thrombocytopenia with small sized platelets, eczema, and recurrent infections. There is paucity of information on WAS from the Indian subcontinent. We describe the clinical and molecular profile of 8 patients with WAS as seen in the Pediatric Immunodeficiency Clinic at the Advanced Pediatrics Centre, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.
A detailed analysis of the clinical profiles, investigations and outcome of the 8 children diagnosed with WAS during the period 2006- 2010 was performed. Confirmation of the genetic diagnosis was done at the Service d'Hématologie, d'Immunologie et de Cytogénétique, Hôpital de Bicêtre, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France and the National Defense Medical College, Saitama, Japan.
8 patients were diagnosed as WAS in 5 years. The ages at diagnosis ranged from 13 weeks to 9 years while the mean age of onset of the symptoms was 117 days +/- 136 days. The diagnosis was established within a mean period of 31 months (ranging 1-108 months) from the onset of symptoms. Recurrent infections and diarrhea were seen in 6 and 7 out of the 8 patients, respectively, while eczema was variable. Autoimmunity manifestations were observed in 2 children. Thrombocytopenia and small platelet size was the hallmark of the disease and the main clinical clue to diagnosis in our patients. Mutations in the WASP gene were seen in 8 children, out of which 2 were novel mutations. While one child successfully underwent bone marrow transplantation, two children are doing well on immunoglobulin replacement and cotrimoxazole prophylaxis. Out of 8 children 4 children in our cohort died--all had high WAS scores and could not be offered hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
WAS should be suspected clinically in any male infant with persistent unexplained thrombocytopenia and especially if the platelet size is small. Clinical presentation can be very variable and it is therefore important to recognize the entire spectrum of the disease. Understanding the molecular basis has important implications for the diagnosis, treatment, and genetic counseling of patients with WAS.