Deep phenotyping in 3q29 deletion syndrome: recommendations for clinical care

The Emory 3q29 Project

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: To understand the consequences of the 3q29 deletion on medical, neurodevelopmental, psychiatric, brain structural, and neurological sequalae by systematic evaluation of affected individuals. To develop evidence-based recommendations using these data for effective clinical care. Methods: Thirty-two individuals with the 3q29 deletion were evaluated using a defined phenotyping protocol and standardized data collection instruments. Results: Medical manifestations were varied and reported across nearly every organ system. The most severe manifestations were congenital heart defects (25%) and the most common were gastrointestinal symptoms (81%). Physical examination revealed a high proportion of musculoskeletal findings (81%). Neurodevelopmental phenotypes represent a significant burden and include intellectual disability (34%), autism spectrum disorder (38%), executive function deficits (46%), and graphomotor weakness (78%). Psychiatric illness manifests across the lifespan with psychosis prodrome (15%), psychosis (20%), anxiety disorders (40%), and attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (63%). Neuroimaging revealed structural anomalies of the posterior fossa, but on neurological exam study subjects displayed only mild or moderate motor vulnerabilities. Conclusion: By direct evaluation of 3q29 deletion study subjects, we document common features of the syndrome, including a high burden of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric phenotypes. Evidence-based recommendations for evaluation, referral, and management are provided to help guide clinicians in the care of 3q29 deletion patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)872-880
Number of pages9
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics(clinical)


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