Clinical stringency greatly improves mutation detection in Rett syndrome

Julie Gauthier, Giovana De Amorim, Gevork N. Mnatzakanian, Carol Saunders, John B. Vincent, Sylvie Toupin, David Kauffman, Judith St.-Onge, Sandra Laurent, Patrick M. Macleod, Berge A. Minassian, Guy A. Rouleau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder of girls, caused by mutations in the X-linked MECP2 gene. Worldwide recognition of the RTT clinical phenotype in the early 1980's allowed many cases to be diagnosed, and established RTT as one of the most common mental retardation syndromes in females. The years since then led to a refinement of the phenotype and the recent elaboration of Revised Diagnostic Criteria (RDC). Here, we study the impact of the presence versus the absence of the use of diagnostic criteria from the RDC to make a diagnosis of RTT on MECP2 mutation detection in Canadian patients diagnosed and suspected of having RTT. Methods: Using dHPLC followed by sequencing in all exons of the MECP2 gene, we compared mutation detection in a historic cohort of 35 patients diagnosed with RTT without the use of specific diagnostic criteria to a separate more recent group of 101 patients included on the basis of strict fulfillment of the RDC. Results: The MECP2 mutation detection rate was much higher in subjects diagnosed using a strict adherence to the RDC (20% vs. 72%). Conclusions: These results suggest that clinical diagnostic procedures significantly influence the rate of mutation detection in RTT, and more generally emphasize the importance of diagnostic tools in the assessment of neurobehavioral syndromes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-326
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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