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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Noonan syndrome

Ineke van der Burgt

Author Affiliations

Department of Human Genetics, University Medical Centre st Radboud, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 2007, 2:4  doi:10.1186/1750-1172-2-4

Published: 14 January 2007

Abstract

Noonan Syndrome (NS) is characterised by short stature, typical facial dysmorphology and congenital heart defects. The incidence of NS is estimated to be between 1:1000 and 1:2500 live births. The main facial features of NS are hypertelorism with down-slanting palpebral fissures, ptosis and low-set posteriorly rotated ears with a thickened helix. The cardiovascular defects most commonly associated with this condition are pulmonary stenosis and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Other associated features are webbed neck, chest deformity, mild intellectual deficit, cryptorchidism, poor feeding in infancy, bleeding tendency and lymphatic dysplasias. The syndrome is transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait. In approximately 50% of cases, the disease is caused by missense mutations in the PTPN11 gene on chromosome 12, resulting in a gain of function of the non-receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2 protein. Recently, mutations in the KRAS gene have been identified in a small proportion of patients with NS. A DNA test for mutation analysis can be carried out on blood, chorionic villi and amniotic fluid samples. NS should be considered in all foetuses with polyhydramnion, pleural effusions, oedema and increased nuchal fluid with a normal karyotype. With special care and counselling, the majority of children with NS will grow up and function normally in the adult world. Management should address feeding problems in early childhood, evaluation of cardiac function and assessment of growth and motor development. Physiotherapy and/or speech therapy should be offered if indicated. A complete eye examination and hearing evaluation should be performed during the first few years of schooling. Preoperative coagulation studies are indicated. Signs and symptoms lessen with age and most adults with NS do not require special medical care.