Prenatal findings in children with early postnatal diagnosis of CHARGE syndrome

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CHARGE syndrome is a multiple congenital anomaly syndrome caused by mutations in CHD7. Diagnostic criteria have been proposed to improve diagnosis in fetuses at clinicopathological survey, but no criteria exist for fetal diagnosis during pregnancy.


We collected prenatal findings of 12 children with CHARGE syndrome diagnosed in the first 3 months and a CHD7 mutation. We retrieved data on prenatal ultrasound (US) follow-up, fetal supplementary investigations, and results of postnatal evaluation.


Seven pregnancies were complicated by the identification of isolated or multiple congenital anomalies. CHARGE syndrome was suspected in three fetuses but could not be confirmed despite additional examinations. Retrospectively, several postnatal findings could have been seen if they had been specifically searched. Intrauterine growth restriction, previously proposed as an exclusion criterion, complicated two pregnancies and is thus compatible with the diagnosis.


Diagnosis of CHARGE syndrome remains difficult during pregnancy. If the diagnosis of CHARGE syndrome is raised in utero, we suggest a careful US examination to identify typical external ears, choanal atresia, or microphthalmia. Fetal brain magnetic resonance imaging can be helpful, but a normal result does not exclude the diagnosis. When CHARGE syndrome is highly suspected, CHD7 molecular analysis must be proposed to confirm the diagnosis. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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