Macrocephaly in children with autism spectrum disorders.
ABSTRACT Research indicates the presence of macrocephaly or abnormally large head circumferences in children with autism and spectrum-related disorders, compared with their typically developing peers. Previous research, however, centered on non-nationally representative, clinic-based samples of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Moreover, these samples were typically small. The present study represents results of a nationally representative, community-based sample of children with and without autism spectrum disorders, derived from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort. Results reveal statistically nonsignificant differences in the head circumferences of children with autism spectrum disorders across three time points, compared with children without autism spectrum disorders. These results may be considered highly generalizable, because they are derived from a nationally representative, community-based sample of children with and without autism spectrum disorders from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort.
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ABSTRACT: The test characteristics of head circumference (HC) measurement percentile criteria for the identification of previously undetected pathology associated with head enlargement in primary care are unknown. Electronic patient records were reviewed to identify children age 3 days to 3 years with new diagnoses of intracranial expansive conditions (IEC) and metabolic and genetic conditions associated with macrocephaly (MGCM). We tested the following HC percentile threshold criteria: ever above the 95th, 97th, or 99.6th percentile and ever crossing 2, 4, or 6 increasing major percentile lines. The Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization growth curves were used, as well as the primary care network (PCN) curves previously derived from this cohort. Among 74,428 subjects, 85 (0.11%) had a new diagnosis of IEC (n = 56) or MGCM (n = 29), and between these 2 groups, 24 received intervention. The 99.6th percentile of the PCN curve was the only threshold with a PPV over 1% (PPV 1.8%); the sensitivity of this threshold was only 15%. Test characteristics for the 95th percentiles were: sensitivity (CDC: 46%; WHO: 55%; PCN: 40%), positive predictive value (PPV: CDC: 0.3%; WHO: 0.3%; PCN: 0.4%), and likelihood ratios positive (LR+: CDC: 2.8; WHO: 2.2; PCN: 3.9). Test characteristics for the 97th percentiles were: sensitivity (CDC: 40%; WHO: 48%; PCN: 34%), PPV (CDC: 0.4%; WHO: 0.3%; PCN: 0.6%), and LR+ (CDC: 3.6; WHO: 2.7; PCN: 5.6). Test characteristics for crossing 2 increasing major percentile lines were: sensitivity (CDC: 60%; WHO: 40%; PCN: 31%), PPV (CDC: 0.2%; WHO: 0.1%; PCN: 0.2%), and LR+ (CDC: 1.3; WHO: 1.1; PCN: 1.5). Commonly used HC percentile thresholds had low sensitivity and low positive predictive value for diagnosing new pathology associated with head enlargement in children in a primary care network.BMC Pediatrics 01/2012; 12:9. · 1.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine the genetic relationship between head circumference (HC) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Twin pairs with at least one twin with an ASD were assessed. HCs in affected and unaffected individuals were compared, as were HC correlations in monozygotic and dizygotic pairs. 404 subjects, ages 4-18, were included. 20 % of males and 27 % of females with an ASD had macrocephaly. Unaffected co-twins showed similar rates (16 % of males and 22 % of females). Statistical analysis revealed no significant difference in HCs between affected and unaffected twins. Twins with ASDs and unaffected co-twins have similar HCs and increased rates of macrocephaly. Correlations demonstrated partial inheritance of HCs. Thus, macrocephaly may represent an endophenotype in ASDs.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 01/2013; · 3.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to describe clinical and laboratory data, as well as comorbid disorders in Greek children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Data were retrospectively collected for 222 children aged 1.5-9 years. The mean age at diagnosis was 43.7 ± 17.6 months. Significantly earlier diagnoses were noted in children with comorbid disorders (epilepsy, hearing deficits, genetic/metabolic disorders), mental retardation and a large head circumference (HC). Macrocephaly (HC ≥ 97th percentile) was found in 21.2% of children, genetic and metabolic disorders in 11.7% and 2.7% respectively and mental retardation in 23%. Patients with certain clinical features (i.e. syndromic) are earlier diagnosed. It is of ultimate importance to promptly identify all children with ASD, probably through the appliance of screening and surveillance programs in the Greek population.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 12/2011; 42(7):1470-6. · 3.06 Impact Factor