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Juho Kärkinen, Päivi J Miettinen, Taneli Raivio, and Matti Hero

Objective:

To describe the etiology of severe short stature in the Helsinki University Hospital district covering a population of 1.2 million that is subject to frequent growth monitoring and screening rules during childhood.

Design:

Retrospective cohort study.

Methods:

We identified all subjects born 1990 or later with a height SD score <−3, after the age of 3 years, from the Helsinki University Hospital district growth database. A total of 785 subjects (376 females and 409 males) fulfilled our inclusion criteria; we reviewed their medical records and growth data and report their underlying diagnoses.

Results:

A pathological cause for short stature was diagnosed in 76% of the girls and 71% of the boys (P = NS). Syndromes were the most numerous pathological cause (n = 160; 20%), followed by organ disorders (n = 127; 16%), growth hormone deficiency (GHD, n = 94; 12%), SGA without catch-up growth (n = 73; 9%), and skeletal dysplasias (n = 57; 7%). Idiopathic short stature (ISS) was diagnosed in 210 (27%) subjects. The probability of growth-related pathology, particularly of a syndrome or skeletal dysplasia, increased with the shorter height SD score and the greater deviation from the target height. Sitting height to height SDS was increased in subjects with ISS, GHD, and SGA (all P < 0.01).

Conclusions:

Height <−3 SDS after 3 years of age usually results from a pathological cause and should be thoroughly investigated in specialized health care. The chance of finding a specific etiology increased with the severity of short stature, and the mismatch with target height.

Open access

Anna-Pauliina Iivonen, Juho Kärkinen, Venkatram Yellapragada, Virpi Sidoroff, Henrikki Almusa, Kirsi Vaaralahti, and Taneli Raivio

Abstract

Patients with deletions in chromosome 9q31.2 may exhibit delayed puberty, craniofacial phenotype including cleft lip/palate, and olfactory bulb hypoplasia. We report a patient with congenital HH with anosmia (Kallmann syndrome, KS) and a de novo 2.38 Mb heterozygous deletion in 9q31.2.

The deletion breakpoints (determined with whole genome linked-read sequencing) were in the FKTN gene (9:108,331,353) and in a non-coding area (9:110,707,332) (hg19). The deletion encompassed six protein-coding genes (FKTN, ZNF462, TAL2, TMEM38B, RAD23B, and KLF4). ZNF462 haploinsufficiency was consistent with patient’s Weiss-Kruszka syndrome (craniofacial phenotype, developmental delay, and sensorineural hearing loss), but did not explain his KS. In further analyses, he did not carry rare sequence variants in 32 known KS genes in whole exome sequencing and displayed no aberrant splicing of 15 KS genes that were expressed in peripheral blood leukocyte transcriptome. The deletion was 1.8 Mb upstream of a KS candidate gene locus (PALM2AKAP2), but did not suppress its expression.

In conclusion, this is the first report of a patient with Weiss-Kruszka syndrome and KS. We suggest that patients carrying a microdeletion in 9q31.2 should be evaluated for the presence of KS and KS-related features.