Spina bifida (SB) is a neurogenetic disorder with a complex etiology that involves genetic and environmental factors. SB can occur in two major forms of open SB or SB aperta and closed SB or SB occulta. Myelomeningocele (MMC), the most common neural tube defects (NTDs), occurs in approximately 1 in 1,000 births. Considering non-genetic factors, diminished folate status is the best-known factor influencing NTD risk. The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene has been implicated as a risk factor for NTDs. The primary disorder in the pathogenesis of MMC is failed neural tube closure in the embryonic spinal region. The clinical manifestation of SB depends on clinical type and severity. SB can be detected in the second trimester using ultrasound which will reveal specific cranial signs. The management of MMC traditionally involves surgery within 48 h of birth. Prenatal repair of MMC is recommended for fetuses who meet maternal and fetal Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS) specified criteria. Urological manifestations of SB include urinary incontinence, urolithiasis, sexual dysfunction, renal dysfunction, and urinary tract infection. Renal failure is among the most severe complications of SB. The most important role of the urologist is the management of neurogenic bladder. Medical management with clean intermittent catheterization and anticholinergic treatment is generally considered the gold standard of therapy. However, when this therapy fails surgical reconstruction become the only remaining option. This review will summarize the pathogenesis, risk factors, genetic contribution, diagnostic test, and management of SB. Lastly, the urologic outcomes and therapies are reviewed.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most prevalent inherited cause of intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Many studies have been conducted over the years, however, in Indonesia there is relatively less knowledge on the prevalence of FXS. We reviewed all studies involving FXS screening and cascade testing of the high-risk population in Indonesia for two decades, to elucidate the prevalence, as well as explore the presence of genetic clusters of FXS in Indonesia. The prevalence of FXS in the ID population of Indonesia ranged between 0.9-1.9%, while in the ASD population, the percentage was higher (6.15%). A screening and cascade testing conducted in a small village on Java Island showed a high prevalence of 45% in the ID population, suggesting a genetic cluster. The common ancestry of all affected individuals was suggestive of a founder effect in the region. Routine screening and subsequent cascade testing are essential, especially in cases of ID and ASD of unknown etiology in Indonesia.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) represent a source of high value data which is often underutilized because exploiting the information contained therein requires specialized techniques unavailable to the end user i.e. the physician or the investigator. Here I describe four simple and practical avenues that will allow the standard EHR end user to identify patient cohorts: the use of diagnostic codes from different international catalogues; a search in reports from complementary tests (e.g. radiographs or lab tests) for any result of interest; a free text search; or a drug prescription search in the patient's electronic prescription record. This medical approach is acquiring great importance in the field of rare diseases, and here I demonstrate its application with X-linked hypophosphatemia. The use of these four EHR questioning approaches makes finding a cohort of patients of any condition or disease feasible and manageable, and once each case record is checked, a well-defined cohort can be assembled.
The SLC26A4 gene has been described as the second gene involved in most cases of autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL), after GJB2. Over 500 different SLC26A4 mutations have been reported, with each ethnic population having its own distinctive mutations. Here, we aimed to determine the frequency and mutation profile of the SLC26A4 gene from two different provinces (center and west) of Iran. This study included 50 nuclear families with two or more siblings segregating presumed ARNSHL. All affected tested negative for mutations in GJB2 at the DFNB1 locus and were therefore screened for autozygosity by descent using short tandem repeat polymorphisms (STRPs) of DFNB4. Sanger sequencing was performed to screen the 20 exons of the SLC26A4 gene for the families linked to this locus. In silico analyses were also performed using available software tools. Four out of 25 (16%) and 3 of 25 (12%) studied families of Isfahan and Hamedan provinces, respectively. were linked to DFNB4. Sanger sequencing led to the identification of six different mutations, one of which (c.919-2A>G) was recurrent and accounted for 31% of all mutant alleles. One out of 7 (14.3%) families with mutations were confirmed to be Pendred syndrome (PS). The SLC26A4 mutations have a high carrying rate in ARNSHL Iranian patients. The identification of a disease causing mutation can be used to establish a genotypic diagnosis and provide important information to the patients and their families.
Non-syndromic sensory neural hearing defect is one of the genetic diseases inherited from parents to offerings. The autosomal recessive form affects a large population worldwide and has become a major concern in the social and professional lives of many people. There are many factors and genes which are involved in hearing loss but the Gap Junction Beta 2 (GJB2) gene which encodes the connexin 26 protein, is a major cause of non-syndromic recessive deafness (NSRD). This study aims to record and analyze GJB2 gene mutations in the hearing-impaired population of North Karnataka, India. In this study, we included 368 congenitally hearing-impaired children from North Karnataka, India, under 18 years of age. After thorough clinical examinations, patient's history and proper audiological results, peripheral blood samples were collected and subjected to genetic analysis. We recorded that 54.8% of the NSRD cases have an autosomal recessive mutation in the coding region of the GJB2 gene. The frequency of W24X (25%) mutation was found to be high in the present study population. From this study we can suggest that, identifying this mutation in new-borns definitely helps in the early diagnosis of hearing loss.
Chryseobacterium species are widely distributed in the environment. They are rarely found in hospital settings causing nosocomial infections. Limited data is available regarding their epidemiology, clinical significance and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. This study was aimed to identify different species of Chryseobacterium using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and to correlate clinically with antimicrobial susceptibility patterns in a tertiary care hospital in north India. We also performed phenotypic tests, which may be useful to differentiate this bacterium from other non-fermenters. A total of 20 isolates of Chryseobacterium spp. were identified over a period of 3 years. Chryseobacterium indologenes (18/20) was the most common species isolated followed by Chryseobacterium gleum (2/20) from various clinical samples. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) was performed. Susceptibility to rifampicin was observed at a maximum (75%) followed by piperacillin-tazobactum (45%). Susceptibility against imipenem, meropenem, cotrimoxazole and cefoperazone-sulbactum were observed approximately 33%. Amikacin, cefotaxime and ceftazidime showed least susceptibility results. Further clinical correlation was established.
Hereditary angioedema caused by C1-inhibitor (C1-INH) deficiency (HAE-C1-INH) is a rare autosomal dominant disease. Primary care physicians sometimes face difficulties in diagnosing HAE-C1-INH owing to fluctuations in C1-INH function levels influenced by blood sampling conditions. International major guidelines do not stipulate a cut-off value of C1-INH function for the diagnosis. We aimed to explore the distribution of C1-INH function levels in patients with HAE-C1-INH and elucidate the influence of blood sampling conditions using healthy volunteers' samples to confirm the cut-off value of C1-INH function. In 48 patients with HAE-C1-INH who visited the Juntendo University Hospital in Japan between 2013 and 2019, C1-INH function levels were evaluated for 160 samples during symptom-free periods and 147 samples during an acute attack. Fluctuations of C1-INH function level were also evaluated for 8 healthy volunteers, wherein the samples were divided into 3 groups according to different sampling conditions. C1-INH function levels in all patients with HAE-C1-INH were found to be < 50%. The average C1-INH function level in healthy volunteers measured soon after blood collection in an appropriate sampling condition was 77% (61-92%) with some having lower C1-INH function levels than the reference value. C1-INH function levels fluctuated unstably in inappropriate sampling conditions. In conclusion, we can confirm that a < 50% C1-INH function level can be used as the diagnostic cutoff value for HAE-C1-INH. Moreover, it is necessary to repeat measurements of C1-INH function level in appropriate blood sampling conditions to accurately diagnose HAE-C1-INH.
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is characterized by the translocation t (15;17)(q22;q21) cytogenetic abnormality in the majority of cases. In most of the cases the cells of APL have normal, diploid karyotype. There are very few cases presented with very rare tetraploid karyotype with double translocation t(15;17)(q22;q12). We report the first case of tetraploid APL with double translocation t(15, 17) in Europe. A 66-year old male patient presented with dyspnea and unexplained dental bleeding. Blood work showed a white blood cell count of 1x109/L, hemoglobin was 124 g/L, platelet count was 61x109/L and fibrinogen level was low (1.4 g/L). Cytogenetics showed a tetraploid karyotype. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis proved existence of clonal cells with translocation t (15,17) in 15% of metaphase nuclei and tetraploid subclonal cells with the same translocation in 70% of metaphase nuclei. Findings were consistent with APL, tetraploid variant and the patient started all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) treatment. The patient achieved complete remission in 2 months and completed three consolidation therapy cycles with ATRA, idarubicin or mitraxontrate. Currently, the patient is undergoing maintenance therapy with ATRA, 6-mercaptopurine and weekly methotrexate.
Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS) is a rare, infectious syndrome related to a mutation in the prion protein gene. Described here are the challenges posed by surgery for a patient with GSS. A 61-yr-old woman with GSS was admitted to this department and underwent surgery twice for large and small bowel obstruction. This is the first report of two major surgical procedures in a patient with GSS. Experiences with this case and precautions when using a disposable device during endotracheal intubation and a surgical procedure to manage a patient with GSS are described.
Hyperphosphatemic familial tumoral calcinosis (HFTC) is an extremely rare autosomal recessive disorder caused by variants in the GALNT3 (N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 3), FGF23 (Fibroblast Growth Factor-23) and αKL (α-Klotho) genes, which results in progressive calcification of soft tissues. We describe the case of a 9-year-old girl who presented with recurrent hard nodular swellings on her feet and knees which intermittently discharged chalky white material. Her younger brother also had a similar condition. Both siblings showed hyperphosphatemia, but the parents’ biochemical parameters were normal. The histological features of the material aspirated from a skin lesion were consistent with tumoral calcinosis. Sanger sequencing identified a novel homozygous non-synonymous sequence variant in exon 10 of the GALNT3 gene (NM_004482.3:c.[1681T>A];[1681T>A], NP_004473.2:p. [Cys561Ser];[Cys561Ser] in the proband and her affected brother. The parents were heterozygous carriers for the same sequence variant. In conclusion, we report a new variant in the GALNT3 gene that caused HFTC in a North Indian family.
Extramammary Paget's disease (EMPD) is a cancer of the anogenital epithelium. Its origin has been variously attributed to keratinocytes or to Toker cells. Slides of 3 advanced cases of EMPD were incubated with trypsin to retrieve antigens. The slides were then stained with rabbit polyclonal anti-carcinoembryonic antigen to mark Paget cells and mouse monoclonal anti-cytokeratin 10 to mark keratinocytes. Several cells in each case stained with both the Paget cell marker and the keratinocyte marker. The presence of cells with both markers shows that Paget cells originate from keratinocytes. The presence of pre-Paget cells in advanced cases of EMPD shows that Paget cells are continuously recruited from keratinocytes.
Rare diseases pose unique challenges to health care delivery. In August 2016, the West China Hospital of Sichuan University (WCHSU) established a rare diseases center. This center has created a multidisciplinary team of rare disease experts. The center provides expedited pathways online and offline for patients with rare diseases to save them time and money, to improve their experience, and to increase the hospital's efficiency. At the same time, the center regularly organizes public education campaigns and it offers free consultations to enhance awareness of rare diseases. Establishment of the rare disease alliance and facilitation of 5G-based remote multi-disciplinary consultations will help to improve the level of diagnosis and treatment and to solve problems with diagnosis and treatment encountered by local patients with rare diseases. WCHSU's rare diseases center has been feasible, acceptable, and effective in Western China and it should benefit patients, doctors, and hospitals. The center should lead to significant improvements in treatment for patients with rare diseases. The successful establishment of a rare diseases center here may be a useful reference for other parts of the world.