Journal Article

A family with the branchio‐oto‐renal syndrome: clinical and genetic correlations

Alkis M. Pierides, Yiannis Athanasiou, Kyproula Demetriou, Michael Koptides and C. Constantinou Deltas

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 17, issue 6, pages 1014-1018
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
A family with the branchio‐oto‐renal syndrome: clinical and genetic correlations

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Background. The branchio‐oto‐renal (BOR) syndrome is an autosomal dominant disease characterized by hearing loss of early onset, preauricular pits, branchial clefts, and early progressive chronic renal failure in up to 40% of family affected members. So far, it has not received due attention in the adult European nephrology literature and because of the combination of deafness with chronic renal failure it may be confused with the Alport syndrome. The BOR syndrome is caused by mutations in the EYA1 gene that maps on chromosome 8q13.3.

Methods. A three‐generation, 20‐member large BOR Greek‐Cypriot family has been studied and followed up clinically over a 27‐year period. The findings in four individuals who developed early onset renal failure are described in detail. Genetic DNA linkage studies have also been carried out.

Results. Of the 15 family members at risk, 14 were tested with DNA linkage analysis. Ten members were genetically affected and four were normal. All 10 affected members developed early‐onset deafness. Some had different ear lobe abnormalities. Nine affected members had preauricular pits. In some of the patients these pits were deep and prominent while in others they were minor and superficial. Eight affected members had early‐onset branchial clefts that needed early corrective surgery without the correct familial diagnosis ever being made. End‐stage renal disease (ESRD) developed in four members at ages 36, 14, 17, and 17 with minimal proteinuria, if any. This was due to unilateral renal agenesis with contralateral hypodysplasia or bilateral, severe renal hypodysplasia.

Conclusion. The BOR syndrome is an infrequent but well‐described entity that combines early‐onset renal failure and deafness together with branchial clefts and preauricular pits. Renal agenesis and dysplasia are the causes of ESRD in these individuals. Other renal abnormalities include bifid kidneys with double ureters, vesico‐ureteric reflux and pelvi‐ureteric stenoses. The BOR syndrome should be included in the differential diagnosis of deafness and chronic renal failure in childhood and adolescence.

Keywords: branchio‐oto‐renal; branchial clefts; deafness; preauricular pits; renal dysplasia; renal failure

Journal Article.  2711 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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