Prenatal diagnosis of a constitutional interstitial deletion of chromosome 5 (q15q31.1) presenting with features of congenital contractural arachnodactyly

Academic Article


  • Prenatal diagnosis of a constitutional interstitial deletion of chromosome 5 (q15q31.1) in a 30-year-old woman is reported. At 21 weeks of pregnancy, routine fetal ultrasounds showed the presence of apparently isolated bilateral club feet. Fetal karyotyping documented an interstitial deletion of the long arm of chromosome 5: 46,XX,del(5) (q15q31) in all 50 analyzed metaphases. Because such deletion is associated with severe psychomotor retardation, the pregnancy was terminated. Postmortem karyotyping of skin fibroblasts confirmed the presence of this interstitial de novo deletion in all mitoses. The breakpoints on 5q were analyzed by fluorescent in situ hybridization and were localized at 5q15 and q31.1. This case illustrates the importance of fetal karyotyping in cases of isolated club feet. At autopsy, the fetus presented had minor anomalies and contractures of knee and hip joints. These clinical findings could fit the diagnosis of congenital contractural arachnodactyly (CCA) or Beals syndrome. CCA is caused by a defect in the fibrillin-2 (FBN2) gene. This gene was previously mapped on 5q23-31. Our molecular studies of both parents and the fetus, using an intragenic polymorphic GT repeat, showed that the FBN2 gene was deleted in the fetus and that the de novo interstitial deletion occurred on the paternally inherited chromosome 5. Thus, CCA may be caused by a loss of function of the FBN2 gene. Clinical findings in this fetus and those of other described cases with interstitial 5q deletions are reviewed, and similarities with CCA are stressed.
  • Author List

  • Courtens W; Tjalma W; Messiaen L; Vamos E; Martin JJ; Van Bogaert E; Keersmaekers G; Meulyzer P; Wauters J
  • Start Page

  • 188
  • End Page

  • 197
  • Volume

  • 77
  • Issue

  • 3