Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome is a congenital (present from birth) growth disorder that causes large body size, large organs, and other symptoms.
The cause of Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome is unknown, but it may be genetic. Most cases are associated with a defect in chromosome number 11.
Infancy can be a critical period because of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), omphalocele (when present), and an increased rate of tumor development. Wilm's tumor and adrenal carcinoma are the most common tumor's in patients with this syndrome.
The signs of Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome include:
- A ridge in the forehead caused by premature closure of the bones (metopic ridge)
- Enlarged fontanelle (soft spot)
- Enlarged kidneys, liver, and spleen
- Large size (90th percentile)
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Tests for Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome include:
Children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome who survive infancy do well, although no long-term follow-up information is available. Mental development appears to be normal to very slightly decreased. Swelling of the tongue can cause problems with feeding and sleeping.
If you have a child with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and worrisome symptoms develop, call your pediatrician immediately.
- Development of tumors
- Feeding problems
- Respiratory difficulties from obstruction due to large tongue
Infants with low blood sugar may be treated fluids given through a vein ( intravenous solutions).
Defects in the abdominal wall may need to be repaired. The child must be watched closely for the development of tumors.
There is no known prevention for Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Genetic counseling may be of value for families who would like to have additional children.
Review Date: 5/12/2009
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.