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      Joubert Syndrome with a Rare Ocular Phenotype: Coloboma with Retrobulbar Cysts – A Case Report

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          Abstract

          Joubert syndrome (JS) is a rare, autosomal recessive, genetic syndrome that derives from the defects in a sensory organelle, the primary cilia. It is a multiorgan disorder affecting the brain, kidneys, liver, and eyes. The most common presenting feature in the newborn period is hypotonia, abnormal eye movements, irregular breathing pattern, characterized by episodic hyperpnea and apnea, later on, ataxia, and developmental retardation. Besides, a range of highly variable, systemic and ocular features can be present. We report a case of 2-month-old female infant, the product of a consanguineous marriage, with a sibling affected by JS, presenting with intermittent hyperpnea, apnea, facial dysmorphism, strabismus, oculomotor apraxia, proptosis, retinal dystrophy, chorioretinal coloboma, and large retrobulbar cysts communicating with the coloboma. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed the characteristic neuroradiologic finding, the “molar tooth sign.” The child does not fix or follow the light, and the visual prognosis with all the ocular features of the syndrome present is extremely poor. In addition to adding to the diversity of ocular phenotypes, this case reiterates the importance of identifying the syndrome, understanding the varied ocular phenotypic presentations, need for further research on causative genes, prenatal diagnosis in affected families, interventions, and adequate genetic counseling.

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          Most cited references15

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          Joubert syndrome: congenital cerebellar ataxia with the molar tooth.

          Joubert syndrome is a congenital cerebellar ataxia with autosomal recessive or X-linked inheritance, the diagnostic hallmark of which is a unique cerebellar and brainstem malformation recognisable on brain imaging-the so-called molar tooth sign. Neurological signs are present from the neonatal period and include hypotonia progressing to ataxia, global developmental delay, ocular motor apraxia, and breathing dysregulation. These signs are variably associated with multiorgan involvement, mainly of the retina, kidneys, skeleton, and liver. 21 causative genes have been identified so far, all of which encode for proteins of the primary cilium or its apparatus. The primary cilium is a subcellular organelle that has key roles in development and in many cellular functions, making Joubert syndrome part of the expanding family of ciliopathies. Notable clinical and genetic overlap exists between distinct ciliopathies, which can co-occur even within families. Such variability is probably explained by an oligogenic model of inheritance, in which the interplay of mutations, rare variants, and polymorphisms at distinct loci modulate the expressivity of the ciliary phenotype. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Joubert Syndrome and related disorders

            Joubert syndrome (JS) and related disorders (JSRD) are a group of developmental delay/multiple congenital anomalies syndromes in which the obligatory hallmark is the molar tooth sign (MTS), a complex midbrain-hindbrain malformation visible on brain imaging, first recognized in JS. Estimates of the incidence of JSRD range between 1/80,000 and 1/100,000 live births, although these figures may represent an underestimate. The neurological features of JSRD include hypotonia, ataxia, developmental delay, intellectual disability, abnormal eye movements, and neonatal breathing dysregulation. These may be associated with multiorgan involvement, mainly retinal dystrophy, nephronophthisis, hepatic fibrosis and polydactyly, with both inter- and intra-familial variability. JSRD are classified in six phenotypic subgroups: Pure JS; JS with ocular defect; JS with renal defect; JS with oculorenal defects; JS with hepatic defect; JS with orofaciodigital defects. With the exception of rare X-linked recessive cases, JSRD follow autosomal recessive inheritance and are genetically heterogeneous. Ten causative genes have been identified to date, all encoding for proteins of the primary cilium or the centrosome, making JSRD part of an expanding group of diseases called "ciliopathies". Mutational analysis of causative genes is available in few laboratories worldwide on a diagnostic or research basis. Differential diagnosis must consider in particular the other ciliopathies (such as nephronophthisis and Senior-Loken syndrome), distinct cerebellar and brainstem congenital defects and disorders with cerebro-oculo-renal manifestations. Recurrence risk is 25% in most families, although X-linked inheritance should also be considered. The identification of the molecular defect in couples at risk allows early prenatal genetic testing, whereas fetal brain neuroimaging may remain uninformative until the end of the second trimester of pregnancy. Detection of the MTS should be followed by a diagnostic protocol to assess multiorgan involvement. Optimal management requires a multidisciplinary approach, with particular attention to respiratory and feeding problems in neonates and infants. Cognitive and behavioral assessments are also recommended to provide young patients with adequate neuropsychological support and rehabilitation. After the first months of life, global prognosis varies considerably among JSRD subgroups, depending on the extent and severity of organ involvement.
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              Joubert syndrome (and related disorders) (OMIM 213300).

              Joubert syndrome (JS) and related disorders are characterized by the 'molar tooth sign' (cerebellar vermis hypoplasia and brainstem anomalies) on MRI, hypotonia, developmental delay, ataxia, irregular breathing pattern and abnormal eye movements. Combinations of additional features such as polydactyly, ocular coloboma, retinal dystrophy, renal disease, hepatic fibrosis, encephalocele, and other brain malformations define clinical sub-types. Recent identification of the NPHP1, AHI1, and CEP290 genes has started to reveal the molecular basis of JS, which may implicate the primary cilium in these disorders. Additional genes remain to be identified.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                COP
                COP
                10.1159/issn.1663-2699
                Case Reports in Ophthalmology
                S. Karger AG
                1663-2699
                2022
                May - August 2022
                16 August 2022
                : 13
                : 2
                : 604-610
                Affiliations
                [_a] aDepartment of Ophthalmology, Dubai Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
                [_b] bDepartment of Ophthalmology, Hatta Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
                [_c] cDubai Pharmacy College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
                [_d] dConsultant Ophthalmology, Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6592-8780
                Article
                525798 PMC9459520 Case Rep Ophthalmol 2022;13:604–610
                10.1159/000525798
                PMC9459520
                36160485
                3060c4a0-cdf8-4e6e-89ba-f53ef496445a
                © 2022 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC). Usage and distribution for commercial purposes requires written permission.

                History
                : 24 May 2022
                : 27 June 2022
                Page count
                Figures: 5, Pages: 7
                Funding
                No funding or grant support received for this project.
                Categories
                Case Report

                Vision sciences,Ophthalmology & Optometry,Pathology
                Ocular phenotypes,Retrobulbar cyst,Joubert syndrome,Retinal dystrophy,Chorioretinal coloboma,Molar tooth sign

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