Medical genetic histories of 165 children with primary central nervous system (CNS) tumours and 4599 relatives of these probands were examined to identify birth defects or genetic disorders that may be associated with the aetiology of CNS tumours. Twelve primary malignancies were found in 329 (4%) of the parents of probands. Two of 99 half sibs but no full sibs had malignancies. Twenty-four percent of families had histories warranting consultation for an inherited disorder or birth defect. Single instances of malformations or genetic disorders were reported in 36 families and several disorders were reported in more than one family, including familial hypercholesterolaemia (4), olivopontocerebellar atrophy (2), and familial abdominal aortic aneurysm (2). Although recurring abnormalities were not identified in probands, it is possible that one or more of the birth defects or genetic disorders observed in probands or relatives may be associated with CNS tumourigenesis.
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