Iterative phenotyping of 15q11.2, 15q13.3 and 16p13.11 microdeletion carriers in pediatric epilepsies.

Johanna A Jähn, Sarah von Spiczak, Hiltrud Muhle, Tanja Obermeier, Andre Franke, Heather C Mefford, Ulrich Stephani, Ingo Helbig
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Epilepsy research : international multidisciplinary journal devoted to experimental and clinical epileptology
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Microdeletions at 15q11.2, 15q13.3 and 16p13.11 are known genetic risk factors for idiopathic generalized epilepsies and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The full phenotypic range of this microdeletion triad in pediatric epilepsies is unknown. We attempted to describe associated phenotypes in a cohort of pediatric epilepsy patients. We screened 570 patients with pediatric epilepsies including idiopathic generalized epilepsies, focal epilepsies and fever-associated epilepsy syndromes for microdeletions at 15q11.2, 15q13.3 and 16p13.11 using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Identified microdeletions were confirmed using array comparative hybridization. Ten microdeletions in 15q11.2 (n=3), 15q13.3 (n=3) and 16p13.11 (n=4) were identified (1.8%). 9/10 microdeletions were identified in patients with IGE (6/101, 6.0%) or patients with generalized EEG patterns without seizures (3/122, 2.5%). 6/10 microdeletion carriers had various degrees of ID; the frequency of microdeletions in patients with epilepsy and ID was higher (4.6%) compared to patients with normal intellect (0.9%). Iterative phenotyping revealed a wide range of generalized epilepsy phenotypes. In our pediatric cohort, recurrent microdeletions at 15q11.2, 15q13.3 and 16p13.11 are mainly associated with phenotypes related to idiopathic generalized epilepsies or related EEG patterns. In contrast to previous reports, these recurrent microdeletions are virtually absent in focal epilepsies, FS, FS+ and GEFS+. Microdeletion carriers have a five-fold risk to present with various degrees of ID compared to patients without these risk factors. This microdeletion triad might help delineate a novel spectrum of epilepsy phenotypes classifiable through clinical, electrographic and genetic data.