Normal Cognition and Behavior in a Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome Patient Who Presented With Hirschsprung Disease

C. Mueller, S. Patel, M. Irons, K. Antshel, G. Salen, G. S. Tint, C. Bay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is an autosomal recessive disorder of cholesterol biosynthesis. It is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the enzyme 7-dehydrocholesterol Δ7-reductase (DHCR7), which catalyzes the final step in cholesterol biosynthesis, usually resulting in cholesterol deficiency. We report a 3.5-year-old girl who has cognition in the low average range and normal behavior, but in whom molecular studies identified two missense mutations in DHCR7: V326L and F284L. She was born at term following an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery, and presented at 12 days of age with poor feeding, abdominal distention, and jaundice. Colonic biopsy was consistent with Hirschsprung disease. On physical examination she had mild ptosis, a long philtrum, mild micrognathia, a short, up-turned nose, and subtle 2,3 syndactyly. Her 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) level was markedly elevated at 8.7 mg/dl (normal 0.10±0.05), and her cholesterol level was normal at 61 mg/dl (normal for newborn period 50-80 mg/dl). Karyotype analysis was normal, 46,XX. Breast milk feeding was initiated and continued for 18 months. Cholesterol supplementation was implemented at 100 mg/kg/day at 3 months, which resulted in increased cholesterol levels and reduced dehydrocholesterol levels. Neuropsychological testing has shown functioning in the low average range, between the 14th and 18th centiles when compared to peers. This is markedly higher than most children with SLOS. She has no behavioral problems. MRI and MRS testing of the brain revealed no structural abnormalities. This is in contrast to a recently reported case by Prasad et al. [2002: Am J Med Genet 108:64-68] with a mild phenotype, behavioral problems, and abnormal MRI, who is compound heterozygote for both a null and missense mutation. Our case suggests that patients with severe feeding disorders with or without Hirschprung disease and postnatal onset microcephaly may warrant screening for SLOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-106
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics
Volume123 A
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 15 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • 7- and 8-dehydrocholesterol
  • DHCR7 mutations
  • Hirschsprung disease
  • Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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