Familial aggregation of "apple peel" intestinal atresia and cardiac left-sided obstructive lesions: A possible causal relationship with NOTCH1 gene mutations

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"Apple peel" intestinal atresia is a rare form of small bowel atresia, in which the duodenum or proximal jejunum ends in a blind pouch and the distal small bowel wraps around its vascular supply, in a spiral resembling an apple peel. The etiology of "apple peel" intestinal atresia is presently unknown, although a congenital or acquired intestinal vascular accident can have a role in the pathogenesis. We report a family in which the proband affected by "apple peel" intestinal atresia, had a sibling (an interrupted pregnancy), and a paternal cousin with cardiac left-sided obstructive lesions. Molecular testing for NOTCH1 gene was carried out in the proband, because pathogenic mutations in this gene have been associated with familial and sporadic cardiac left-sided obstructive lesions and vascular anomalies, both isolated or within the spectrum of the Adams-Oliver syndrome (AOS). The heterozygous c.2734C>T (p.Arg912Trp) NOTCH1 variant was found in the proband with "apple peel" intestinal atresia and in his father. This result argues for a possible causal relationship between NOTCH1 gene mutations and some forms of intestinal defects, through a vascular mechanism. The spectrum of NOTCH1-associated malformations is widened. Genetic counseling should take into account intrafamilial variable clinical expression and incomplete penetrance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 20 2019


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