Liver disease and other comorbidities in Wolcott-Rallison syndrome: Different phenotype and variable associations in a large cohort

Abdelhadi M. Habeb*, Asma Deeb, Matthew Johnson, Mohammed Abdullah, Majidah Abdulrasoul, Hussain Al-Awneh, Mohammed S.F. Al-Maghamsi, Fathiya Al-Murshedi, Ramlah Al-Saif, Siham Al-Sinani, Dina Ramadan, Hala Tfayli, Sarah E. Flanagan, Sian Ellard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Wolcott-Rallison syndrome (WRS) is caused by recessive EIF2AK3 mutations and characterized by early-onset diabetes and skeletal dysplasia. Hepatic dysfunction has been reported in 60% of patients. Aims: To describe a cohort of WRS patients and discuss the pattern and management of their liver disease. Methods: Detailed phenotyping and direct sequencing of EIF2AK3 gene were conducted in all patients. Results: Twenty-eight genetically confirmed patients (67% male; mean age 4.6 years) were identified. 17 different EIF2AK3 mutations were detected, of which 2 were novel. The p.S991N mutation was associated with prolonged survival and p.I650T with delayed onset. All patients presented before 25 months with diabetes with variation in the frequency and severity of 10 other features. Liver disease, first manifested as non-autoimmune hepatitis, was the commonest extra-pancreatic feature identified in 85.7% (24/28). 22/24 had at least one episode of acute hepatic failure which was the cause of death in all deceased patients (13/28). One child was treated by liver transplantation and had no liver disease and better diabetes control for the following 6 years. Conclusions: Liver disease in WRS is more frequent than previously described and carries high mortality. The first experience with liver transplantation in WRS is encouraging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 24 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood diabetes
  • EIF2AK3 mutations
  • Hepatitis
  • Liver transplantation
  • Skeletal dysplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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