Wolfram syndrome: important implications for pediatricians and pediatric endocrinologists

Department of Pediatrics, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Cochin, Kerala, India.
Pediatric Diabetes (Impact Factor: 2.13). 12/2009; 11(1):28-37. DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2009.00518.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Kumar S. Wolfram syndrome: important implications for pediatricians and pediatric endocrinologists.

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    ABSTRACT: Wolfram syndrome also known as DIDMOAD (Diabetes Insipidus, Diabetes Mellitus, Optic Atrophy, and Deafness) is a rare neurodegenerative autosomal recessive disorder. There is evidence of variable expressivity both in patients and heterozygous carriers. In this study, we describe three Persian Wolfram syndrome families with differences in the age of onset, signs and symptoms of the disease. We clinically evaluated affected families for verifying WS clinical diagnosis. After linkage analysis via 5 STR markers, molecular analysis for WFS1 was performed by direct sequencing for patients and available family members. Three homozygous mutations were identified including c.1885 C>T, c.2205C>A both in exon 8 and c.460+1G>A in intron 4. The mutation c.2205C>A was found to be novel. We report interesting phenotype-genotype correlations: homozygous c.1885C>T and c.2205C>A variants were correlated with quite different disease severity and onset in the siblings. We report a rare case of WS with homozygous c.1885C>T who is married and has a healthy child. c.460+1G>A showed a possible partial dominant inheritance put forth by a heterozygous parent showing partial WS symptoms while her daughter displayed typical WS symptoms. Due to variable expressivity, detailed clinical examination and molecular diagnostics should be used to confirm WS and a more exact recurrence risk data.
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    ABSTRACT: Wolfram syndrome (WS) is a rare autosomal recessive progressive neurodegenerative disorder, and it is mainly characterized by the presence of diabetes mellitus and optic atrophy. Other symptoms such as diabetes insipidus, deafness, and psychiatric disorders are less frequent. The WFS1 gene, responsible for the disease and encoding for a transmembrane protein called wolframin, was localized in 1998 on chromosome 4p16. In this report, we present a familial observation of Wolfram syndrome (parents and three children). The propositus was a 6-year-old girl with diabetes mellitus and progressive visual loss. Her family history showed a brother with diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy, and deafness since childhood and a sister with diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy, and bilateral hydronephrosis. Thus, association of these familial and personal symptoms is highly suggestive of Wolfram syndrome. The diagnosis was confirmed by molecular analysis (biology), which showed the presence of WFS1 homozygous mutations c.1113G > A (p.Trp371*) in the three siblings and a heterozygote mutation in the parents. Our observation has demonstrated that pediatricians should be aware of the possibility of Wolfram syndrome when diagnosing optic atrophy in diabetic children.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To describe an ophthalmic phenotype in children at relatively early stages of Wolfram syndrome. Methods Quantitative ophthalmic testing of visual acuity, color vision, automated visual field sensitivity, optic nerve pallor and cupping, and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness assessed by optical coherence tomography (OCT) was performed in 18 subjects 5-25 years of age. Subjects were also examined for presence or absence of afferent pupillary defects, cataracts, nystagmus, and strabismus. Results Subnormal visual acuity was detected in 89% of subjects, color vision deficits in 94%, visual field defects in 100%, optic disk pallor in 94%, abnormally large optic nerve cup:disk ratio in 33%, thinned RNFL in 100%, afferent pupillary defects in 61%, cataracts in 22%, nystagmus in 39%, and strabismus in 39% of subjects. RNFL thinning (P < 0.001), afferent pupillary defects (P = 0.01), strabismus (P = 0.04), and nystagmus (P = 0.04) were associated with more severe disease using the Wolfram United Rating Scale. Conclusions Children and adolescents with Wolfram syndrome have multiple ophthalmic markers that correlate with overall disease severity. RNFL thickness measured by OCT may be the most reliable early marker.
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