Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia tarda (SEDT), an X-linked recessive skeletal disorder, presents with disproportionate short stature and "barrel-chest" deformity in affected (hemizygous) adolescent boys. In four reported families to date, mutations in a gene designated SEDL (spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia late) cosegregate with SEDT. We diagnosed SEDT in a short-stature, kyphotic 15-year-old boy because of his characteristic vertebral malformations. Clinical manifestations of SEDT were evident in at least four previous generations. A novel 2-base pair (bp) deletion in exon 5 of SEDL was found in the propositus by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing of all four coding exons. The mutation ATdel241-242 cosegregated with the kindred's skeletal disease. The deletion is adjacent to a noncanonical splice site for exon 5 but does not alter splicing. Instead, it deletes 2 bp from the coding sequence, causing a frameshift. A maternal aunt and her three young sons were investigated subsequently. Radiographs showed subtle shaping abnormalities of her pelvis and knees, suggesting heterozygosity. X-rays of the spine and pelvis of her 8-year-old son revealed characteristic changes of SEDT, but her younger sons (aged 6 years and 3 years) showed no abnormalities. SEDL analysis confirmed that she and only her eldest boy had the 2-bp deletion. Molecular testing of SEDL enables carrier detection and definitive diagnosis before clinical or radiographic expression of SEDT. Although there is no specific treatment for SEDT, preexpression molecular testing of SEDL could be helpful if avoiding physical activities potentially injurious to the spine and the joints proves beneficial.
- Presymptomatic diagnosis
- Rare splice site