Transgenerational Inheritance of Familial Lipomyelomeningocele
Lipomyelomeningocele is a type of neural tube defect characterized by lipomatous tissue causing a defect in the vertebrae, infiltrating the dura, and tethering the spinal cord. Despite significant neurologic consequences, the underlying etiology remains poorly understood. We present a father and son with remarkably similar presentations of lipomyelomeningocele. Genetic testing did not reveal an underlying cause but whole exome sequencing identified variants in the ARHGAP29 and RADIL genes in the proband and his affected father. Genetic analyses of asymptomatic family members revealed several carriers of the ARHGAP29 or RADIL variants, but only the proband and his father carried both variants, suggesting a possible shared genetic mechanism. Rare cases of siblings affected with lipomyelomeningocele have suggested the possibility of autosomal recessive or germline mosaicism. We present the first documented cases of transgenerational lipomyelomeningocele with important implications for family counseling about the recurrence of lipomyelomeningocele.