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Microscopically visible distal 8p deletions have been associated with growth and mental impairment, minor facial anomalies, congenital heart defects, and behavioral problems. We report two cousins with mild retardation and behavioral problems, including inappropriate sexual behavior and pyromania. Familial learning difficulties on the grandfather's side incompatible with Mendelian inheritance prompted telomere screening, which detected a submicroscopic terminal 8p deletion of < 5.1 Mb. The cousins' mothers both carried a t(8;20)(p23;p13) balanced translocation. The frequently observed microcephaly in patients with microscopically visible deletions of 8pter is lacking in both cousins, suggesting that the gene(s) causing the microcephaly is centromeric to the deleted region. The absence of cardiac defects in the cousins confirms the more proximal location of gene(s) causing these abnormalities in other reported cases with microscopically visible 8pter deletions and supports involvement of the GATA4 gene. Moreover, the current cases predict the presence of a putative gene(s) involved in behavior in the most telomeric 5.1 Mb of the p-arm of chromosome 8. This first clinical report of a submicroscopic subtelomeric 8p deletion gives more insight into the so-called 8p- syndrome and demonstrates the difficulty in making a clinical diagnosis for a submicroscopic 8pter deletion in an individual patient with mental retardation.


Journal article


Am J Med Genet

Publication Date





314 - 319


Behavioral Symptoms, Child, Child, Preschool, Chromosome Deletion, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 20, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 8, Cytogenetic Analysis, DNA-Binding Proteins, Family Health, GATA4 Transcription Factor, Genetics, Behavioral, Humans, Intellectual Disability, Male, Microsatellite Repeats, Pedigree, Telomere, Transcription Factors, Translocation, Genetic