Velocardiofacial Syndrome Patients with a Heterozygous Chromosome 22q11 Deletion Have Giant Platelets

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Patients with a microdeletion on chromosome 22q11 demonstrate the clinical picture of the velocardiofacial syndrome. We report on three members of the same family with this microdeletion and velocardiofacial syndrome, all having an increase in platelet size and a mild decrease in platelet number. Their platelet function, however, tested by aggregation and by adherence to collagen in a whole blood perfusion system, was normal. We retrospectively studied the files of 35 other patients with 22q11 deletion and also found that their platelets had an increased size compared with cardiac controls. Moreover, their platelet size correlated negatively with platelet number. Knowing that patients with 22q11 deletion are obligate carriers for a heterozygous glycoprotein Ibβ deletion, these patients can be considered to be heterozygous Bernard-Soulier patients. In addition, a significant increase in platelet size may be a positive predictor for the clinical diagnosis of the velocardiofacial syndrome.

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