We report on a female patient with Dandy-Walker malformation possibly caused by heterozygous loss of ZIC1 and ZIC4. The patient presented with mental retardation, epilepsy, and multiple congenital malformations including spina bifida, mild dysmorphic facial features including, thick eyebrows, broad nose, full lips, macroglossia, and hypoplasia of the cerebellar vermis with enlargement of the fourth ventricle on brain magnetic resonance imaging, which is consistent with Dandy-Walker malformation. A chromosome analysis showed interstitial deletion of chromosome 3q23-q25.1. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and microarray-based genomic analysis revealed the heterozygous deletion of ZIC1 and ZIC4 loci on 3q24. Her facial features were not consistent with those observed in blepharophimosis-ptosis-epicanthus inversus syndrome (BPES) involving FOXL2 abnormality. Other deleted genes at 3q23-25.1 might contribute to the dysmorphic facial appearance. A milder phenotype as the Dandy-Walker malformation in our patient supports the idea that modifying loci/genes can influence the development of cerebellar malformation.
"A molecular characterization of the deletions’ breakpoints was available for eight of the 12 WS patients [6,9,24,25], allowing to define a critical region of 7 Mb in 3q25 (WS-CR, Figure 3). This region contains 43 RefSeq genes, none of which appears as a strong candidate for WS. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM) is one of the commonest congenital cerebellar defects, and can be associated with multiple congenital anomalies and chromosomal syndromes. The occurrence of overlapping 3q deletions including the ZIC1 and ZIC4 genes in few patients, along with data from mouse models, have implicated both genes in the pathogenesis of DWM.
Methods and results
Using a SNP-array approach, we recently identified three novel patients carrying heterozygous 3q deletions encompassing ZIC1 and ZIC4. Magnetic resonance imaging showed that only two had a typical DWM, while the third did not present any defect of the DWM spectrum. SNP-array analysis in further eleven children diagnosed with DWM failed to identify deletions of ZIC1-ZIC4. The clinical phenotype of the three 3q deleted patients included multiple congenital anomalies and peculiar facial appearance, related to the localization and extension of each deletion. In particular, phenotypes resulted from the variable combination of three recognizable patterns: DWM (with incomplete penetrance); blepharophimosis, ptosis, and epicanthus inversus syndrome; and Wisconsin syndrome (WS), recently mapped to 3q.
Our data indicate that the 3q deletion is a rare defect associated with DWM, and suggest that the hemizygosity of ZIC1-ZIC4 genes is neither necessary nor sufficient per se to cause this condition. Furthermore, based on a detailed comparison of clinical features and molecular data from 3q deleted patients, we propose clinical diagnostic criteria and refine the critical region for WS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM) is the most common human cerebellar malformation, characterized by hypoplasia of the cerebellar vermis, cystic dilation of the fourth ventricle, and an enlarged posterior fossa with upward displacement of the lateral sinuses, tentorium, and torcular. Although its pathogenesis is not completely understood, there are several genetic loci related to DWM as well as syndromic malformations and congenital infections. Dandy-Walker malformation is associated with other central nervous system abnormalities, including dysgenesis of corpus callosum, ectopic brain tissue, holoprosencephaly, and neural tube defects. Hydrocephalus plays an important role in the development of symptoms and neurological outcome in patients with DWM, and the aim of surgical treatment is usually the control of hydrocephalus and the posterior fossa cyst. Imaging modalities, especially magnetic resonance imaging, are crucial for the diagnosis of DWM and distinguishing this disorder from other cystic posterior fossa lesions. Persistent Blake's cyst is seen as a retrocerebellar fluid collection with cerebrospinal fluid signal intensity and a median line communication with the fourth ventricle, commonly associated with hydrocephalus. Mega cisterna magna presents as an extraaxial fluid collection posteroinferior to an intact cerebellum. Retrocerebellar arachnoid cysts frequently compress the cerebellar hemispheres and the fourth ventricle. Patients with DWM show an enlarged posterior fossa filled with a cystic structure that communicates freely with the fourth ventricle and hypoplastic vermis. Comprehension of hindbrain embryology is of utmost importance for understanding the cerebellar malformations, including DWM, and other related entities.
Topics in magnetic resonance imaging: TMRI 12/2011; 22(6):303-12. DOI:10.1097/RMR.0b013e3182a2ca77
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article is to improve prenatal imaging diagnosis and counselling for cases of 'isolated' Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM) in the light of recent literature, which has demonstrated a potential good clinical and intellectual outcome of fetuses presenting with DWM characterised by partial vermian agenesis (identification of two fissures and three lobes) and absence of associated anatomical anomalies.
This is a retrospective observational study of six consecutive prenatal cystic posterior fossa malformations, diagnosed as DWM, encountered in a national reference centre for posterior fossa malformations over a 2-year period.
In all cases, DWM was diagnosed as isolated (without any associated central nervous system or extra-central nervous system malformations and normal standard karyotype). Despite good-quality imaging, including fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), prenatal analysis of the vermis was impossible because of limited identification of fissuration and lobulation. In three cases, a cytogenetic anomaly was found, including 6p subtelomeric deletion (n = 2) and partial 4 qter deletion associated with partial 7p trisomy (n = 1). One fetus with 6p deletion was terminated. In four of the five postnatal cases, MRI confirmed the diagnosis of DWM but provided only limited information for vermian analysis. In one case, postnatal MRI showed a large Blake's pouch cyst with rotated but complete vermis associated with a marked mass effect on the distal part of the tentorium. Of the four babies born with postnatal diagnosis of DWM, all required ventriculoperitoneal shunting because of early postnatal hydrocephalus.
When fetal MRI is necessary to exclude additional cerebral lesions in the diagnosis of DWM, we highlight the inaccuracy of magnetic resonance for anatomical analysis of the vermis. We also emphasise the potential high incidence of subtelomeric anomalies in isolated DWM, especially 6p deletion. In the postnatal period, paediatricians should look for postnatal hydrocephalus even if the ventricular size is normal or slightly dilated on prenatal imaging.
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