Other Names: Chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome; Velocardiofacial syndrome; VCFS; DiGeorge syndrome; Shprintzen syndrome; Sedlackova syndrome; CATCH22; Autosomal dominant Opitz G/BBB syndrome; Conotruncal anomaly face syndrome; Cayler cardiofacial syndrome.

22q11.2 deletion syndrome is a disorder that involves many different areas of the body and can vary greatly in severity among people with the condition. Signs and symptoms may include: cleft palate, heart defects, recurrent infections, unique facial characteristics, feeding problems, kidney abnormalities, hypoparathyroidism, thrombocytopenia, scoliosis, hearing loss, developmental delay, and learning disabilities. People with this condition are also more likely to develop certain autoimmune disorders and personality disorders. 22q11.2 deletion syndrome is caused by a deletion of a small part of chromosome 22 near the middle of the chromosome at a location known as q11.2. In most cases, the syndrome occurs for the first time in the affected person; about 10% of cases are inherited from a parent. It is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Although there is no specific treatment or cure, there can be ways to manage the symptoms. A team of doctors is often needed to figure out the treatment options based on each person’s symptoms.

Many children with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome have developmental delays, including delayed growth and speech development, and learning disabilities. Later in life, they are at an increased risk of developing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Additionally, affected children are more likely than children without 22q11.2 deletion syndrome to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and developmental conditions such as autism spectrum disorders that affect communication and social interaction.

Because the signs and symptoms of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome are so varied, different groupings of features were once described as separate conditions. Doctors named these conditions DiGeorge syndrome, velocardiofacial syndrome (also called Shprintzen syndrome), and conotruncal anomaly face syndrome. In addition, some children with the 22q11.2 deletion were diagnosed with the autosomal dominant form of Opitz G/BBB syndrome and Cayler cardiofacial syndrome. Once the genetic basis for these disorders was identified, doctors determined that they were all part of a single syndrome with many possible signs and symptoms. To avoid confusion, this condition is usually called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, a description based on its underlying genetic cause.

Contact the Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center for more information on 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.

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