To investigate molecular and clinical aspects of conotruncal anomaly face (CAF), we studied the correlation between deletion size and phenotype and the mode of inheritance in 183 conotruncal anomaly face syndrome (CAFS) patients. Hemizygosity for a region of 22q11.2 was found in 180 (98%) of the patients with CAFS by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using the N25(D22S75) DiGeorge critical region (DGCR) probe. No hemizygosity was found in three (2%) of the patients with CAFS by FISH using nine DiGeorge critical region probes and a SD10P1 probe (DGA II locus). None of these three patients had mental retardation and just one had nasal intonation, which was observed in almost all of the 180 CAFS patients who carried deletions (mental retardation, 92%; nasal voice, 88%). Nineteen of 143 families (13%) had familial CAFS and 16 affected parents (84%) were mothers. Although only two of the affected parents had cardiovascular anomalies, the deletion size in the 16 affected parents and their affected family members, who were studied by FISH analysis? was the same. It indicates that extragenic factors may play a roll in the genesis of phenotypic variability, especially in patients with cardiovascular anomalies. No familial cases were found among CAFS patients with absent thymus/Di-George anomaly (DGA). Also, in all 18 CAFS patients with completely absent thymus/DGA and all 6 CAFS patients with schizophrenia, it was revealed that the deletion was longer distally. A study of the origin of the deletion using microsatellite analyses in 48 de novo patients showed that in 65% of CAFS patients it was maternal, while in 64% of DGA patients it was paternal. The findings of this study indicated that CAF was almost always associated with the deletion of 22q11.2. As well as the major features of the syndrome, other notable extracardiac anomalies were found to be: susceptibility to infection, schizophrenia, atrophy or dysmorphism of the brain, thrombocytopenia, short stature, facial palsy, anal atresia, and mild limb abnormalities.
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