Increased referrals for congenital hyperinsulinism genetic testing in children with trisomy 21 reflects the high burden of non-genetic risk factors in this group

Thomas I. Hewat, Thomas W. Laver, Jayne A. L. Houghton, Jonna M. E. Männistö, Sabah Alvi, Stephen P. Brearey, Declan Cody, Antonia Dastamani, Miguel De Los Santos La Torre, Nuala Murphy, Birgit Rami-Merhar, Birgit Wefers, Hanna Huopio, Indraneel Banerjee, Matthew B. Johnson, Sarah E. Flanagan (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

Background: Hyperinsulinism results from inappropriate insulin secretion during hypoglycaemia. Down syndrome is causally linked to a number of endocrine disorders including Type 1 diabetes and neonatal diabetes. We noted a high number of individuals with Down syndrome referred for hyperinsulinism genetic testing, and therefore aimed to investigate whether the prevalence of Down syndrome was increased in our hyperinsulinism cohort compared to the population.

Methods: We identified individuals with Down syndrome referred for hyperinsulinism genetic testing to the Exeter Genomics Laboratory between 2008 and 2020. We sequenced the known hyperinsulinism genes in all individuals and investigated their clinical features.

Results: We identified 11 individuals with Down syndrome in a cohort of 2011 patients referred for genetic testing for hyperinsulinism. This represents an increased prevalence compared to the population (2.5/2011 expected vs. 11/2011 observed, p = 6.8 × 10 −5). A pathogenic ABCC8 mutation was identified in one of the 11 individuals. Of the remaining 10 individuals, five had non-genetic risk factors for hyperinsulinism resulting from the Down syndrome phenotype: intrauterine growth restriction, prematurity, gastric/oesophageal surgery, and asparaginase treatment for leukaemia. For five individuals no risk factors for hypoglycaemia were reported although two of these individuals had transient hyperinsulinism and one was lost to follow-up.

Conclusions: Down syndrome is more common in patients with hyperinsulinism than in the population. This is likely due to an increased burden of non-genetic risk factors resulting from the Down syndrome phenotype. Down syndrome should not preclude genetic testing as coincidental monogenic hyperinsulinism and Down syndrome is possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-461
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Volume23
Issue number4
Early online date16 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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