Heterozygous 24-polyalanine repeats in the PHOX2B gene with different manifestations across three generations

Piyaporn Chuen-Im, Shinawi Marwan, Jodi Carter, James Kemp, Katherine Rivera-Spoljaric

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14 Scopus citations


Congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) is an uncommon genetic disorder that is characterized by alveolar hypoventilation and autonomic dysregulation. More than 90% of the patients are heterozygous for polyalanine repeat expansion mutations in the paired-like homeobox 2b (PHOX2B) gene. The normal genotype has a 20-polyalanine sequence whereas expanded alleles are usually 25-33. Heterozygous 24-polyalanine repeat expansion mutation in the PHOX2B gene has rarely been reported. We report three consecutive generations harboring heterozygous 24-polyalanine repeats in the PHOX2B gene with manifestations ranging from apparently asymptomatic to alveolar hypoventilation and apnea requiring mechanical ventilation. The 3-year-old proband developed cor pulmonale and central hypoventilation following an upper respiratory tract infection. Our findings add to the accumulating evidence that the 24-polyalanine repeat in the PHOX2B is a disease-causing mutation. In addition, a high index of suspicion and careful monitoring after anesthesia, sedation, or respiratory illnesses should be exercised when evaluating asymptomatic family members with this genotype. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2014; 49:E13-E16.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E13-E16
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • PHOX2B
  • central hypoventilation syndrome
  • cor pulmonale


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