ABSTRACT: Aortic aneurysms are a rare condition in children. Here we report the occurrence of aortic aneurysms in 5 children with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS). Three patients had a WAS score of 4, and 2 patients had a WAS score of 5, but autoimmunity was only present in 1 patient. Discovery was fortuitous in 4 cases after chest radiography or thoracic or abdominal computed tomography, which was performed to investigate unrelated symptoms; in 1 patient, thoracic pain was an alerting sign. Age at diagnosis was 10 to 16 years. Aneurysms were confined to the thoracic aorta in 4 cases and to the abdominal aorta in 1 case and were from 2 to 6 cm in size. Aortic surgery was successfully performed on the single symptomatic patient. Two other patients are alive: there has been a low progression of the aneurysm 15 years after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in 1 patient and no evidence of progression after 12 years of follow-up without hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the second patient. Two patients died 2 and 4 years after diagnosis from unrelated complications. A systematic retrospective search of 33 other patients with WAS for whom imaging material was available did not reveal the presence of aortic aneurysms. This unusual frequency of aortic aneurysm found in patients with WAS (5 of 38) indicates that aneurysm can be an underdiagnosed complication of WAS. It is presently unclear whether it is caused by an infectious and/or autoimmune/inflammatory process. Therefore, we suggest that aneurysms of large vessels should be systematically searched for in patients with WAS.
PEDIATRICS 02/2011; 127(2):e498-504. · 4.47 Impact Factor