Quantitative facial phenotyping for Koolen-de Vries and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

Alexander J M Dingemans, Diante E Stremmelaar, Roos van der Donk, Lisenka E L M Vissers, David A Koolen, Patrick Rump, Jayne Y Hehir-Kwa, Bert B A de Vries*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    60 Downloads (Pure)


    The Koolen-de Vries syndrome (KdVS) is a multisystem syndrome with variable facial features caused by a 17q21.31 microdeletion or KANSL1 truncating variant. As the facial gestalt of KdVS has resemblance with the gestalt of the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS), we assessed whether our previously described hybrid quantitative facial phenotyping algorithm could distinguish between these two syndromes, and whether there is a facial difference between the molecular KdVS subtypes. We applied our algorithm to 2D photographs of 97 patients with KdVS (78 microdeletions, 19 truncating variants (likely) causing KdVS) and 48 patients with 22q11.2DS as well as age, gender and ethnicity matched controls with intellectual disability (n = 145). The facial gestalts of KdVS and 22q11.2DS were both recognisable through significant clustering by the hybrid model, yet different from one another (p = 7.5 × 10-10 and p = 0.0052, respectively). Furthermore, the facial gestalts of KdVS caused by a 17q21.31 microdeletion and KANSL1 truncating variant (likely) causing KdVS were indistinguishable (p = 0.981 and p = 0.130). Further application to three patients with a variant of unknown significance in KANSL1 showed that these faces do not match KdVS. Our data highlight quantitative facial phenotyping not only as a powerful tool to distinguish syndromes with overlapping facial dysmorphisms but also to establish pathogenicity of variants of unknown clinical significance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages6
    Early online date18-Feb-2021
    Publication statusPublished - 18-Feb-2021

    Cite this