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Congenital intrauterine infection-like syndrome
Congenital intrauterine infection-like syndrome is characterised by the presence of microcephaly and intracranial calcifications at birth accompanied by neurological delay, seizures and a clinical course similar to that seen in patients after intrauterine infection with Toxoplasma gondii, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, Herpes simplex (so-called TORCH syndrome), or other agents, despite repeated tests revealing the absence of any known infectious agent.
ORPHA:1229Classification level: Disorder
- Baraitser-Brett-Piesowicz syndrome
- Baraitser-Reardon syndrome
- Bilateral band-like calcification with polymicrogyria
- Microcephaly-intracranial calcification-intellectual disability syndrome
- Pseudo-TORCH syndrome
- Prevalence: <1 / 1 000 000
- Inheritance: Autosomal recessive
- Age of onset: Neonatal, Antenatal
- ICD-10: Q87.8
- OMIM: 251290
- UMLS: C2931662 C3489725
- MeSH: -
- GARD: 12426 815
- MedDRA: -
More than 30 cases have been described in the literature so far.
The clinical presentation of the reported cases is rather heterogeneous with variable manifestations including intrauterine growth retardation, hepatosplenomegaly, hyperbilirubinaemia, cerebellar hypoplasia or atrophy, and congenital cataract. Affected individuals with associated thrombocytopaenia have also been reported but it has been suggested that these patients may have a distinct subtype.
The cause remains unknown.
Diagnosis relies on the clinical picture and requires exclusion of intrauterine infections.
Congenital intrauterine infection-like syndrome shows considerable clinical overlap with Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome (AGS, see this term). The two syndromes were reported to differ by the presence of cerebrospinal fluid anomalies (CSF leucocytosis and elevated IFN-alpha levels) in AGS and hepatic dysfunction, congenital microcephaly and thrombocytopaenia in congenital intrauterine infection-like syndrome. However, as the clinical manifestations of both syndromes show significant variability, it has been suggested that AGS and congenital intrauterine infection-like syndrome represent different presentations of the same disease. The differential diagnosis should also include other syndromes characterised by microcephaly and intracranial calcification such as Cockayne syndrome, COFS syndrome (which is usely considered as the neonatal form of Cockayne syndrome) and Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome (the neonatal presentation of dyskeratosis congenita syndrome; see these terms), some cases of mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, and pseudohypoarathyroidism. Ancient cases may have been reported as ``Fahr disease'', an outdated, causally heterogeneous clinical entity that encompasses several entities with intracranial calcifications.
Several familial cases, compatible with an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance, have been described.
Management and treatment
Treatment is symptomatic only.
The prognosis is variable but can be severe with several of the reported patients dying within the first year of life.
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