We have identified six children with a distinctive facial phenotype in association with mental retardation (MR), microcephaly, and short stature, four of whom presented with Hirschsprung (HSCR) disease in the neonatal period. HSCR was diagnosed in a further child at the age of 3 years after investigation for severe chronic constipation and another child, identified as sharing the same facial phenotype, had chronic constipation, but did not have HSCR. One of our patients has an interstitial deletion of chromosome 2, del(2)(q21q23). These children strongly resemble the patient reported by Lurie et al with HSCR and dysmorphic features associated with del(2)(q22q23). All patients have been isolated cases, suggesting a contiguous gene syndrome or a dominant single gene disorder involving a locus for HSCR located at 2q22-q23. Review of published reports suggests that there is significant phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity within the group of patients with HSCR, MR, and microcephaly. In particular, our patients appear to have a separate disorder from Goldberg-Shprintzen syndrome, for which autosomal recessive inheritance has been proposed because of sib recurrence and consanguinity in some families.
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