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BACKGROUND: Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a multiple congenital anomaly syndrome characterised by a distinctive facial appearance, prenatal and postnatal growth deficiency, psychomotor delay, behavioural problems, and malformations of the upper extremities. Recently mutations in NIPBL, the human homologue of the Drosophila Nipped-B gene, were found to cause CdLS. Mutations have been found in 39% of reported cases. METHODS: Patients were enrolled in the study and classified into one of four groups based on clinical examination: classic, mild, possible, or definitively not CdLS. Three dimensional photography was taken of 20 subjects, and compared between groups. Behaviour was assessed with specific attention to autism. We searched for mutations in NIPBL and correlated genotype with phenotype. RESULTS: : We found mutations in 56% of cases. CONCLUSIONS: Truncating mutations were generally found to cause a more severe phenotype but this correlation was not absolute. Three dimensional facial imaging demonstrated the potential for classifying facial features. Behavioural problems were highly correlated with the level of adaptive functioning, and also included autism. No correlation of behaviour with the type of mutation was found.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of medical genetics

Publication Date





568 - 575


Department of Clinical Genetics, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Humans, De Lange Syndrome, Growth Disorders, Birth Weight, Proteins, Diagnosis, Differential, Facial Expression, Autistic Disorder, Genotype, Phenotype, Mutation, Social Support, Infant, Newborn, Netherlands, Female, Male