John Libbey Eurotext

Epileptic Disorders

The Educational Journal of the International League Against Epilepsy

Practical clues for diagnosing WWOX encephalopathy Volume 19, numéro 3, September 2017


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1 “Prof. Dr. Alexandru Obregia” Clinical Hospital, Pediatric Neurology, Bucharest
2 “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Pediatric Neurology Discipline, Bucharest, Romania
* Correspondence: Oana Tarta-Arsene 36 Magura Vulturului St, Bucharest, 021704 Romania
  • Mots-clés : WWOX, epileptic encephalopathy, progressive cerebral atrophy, persistent hypsarrhythmia, rare epilepsies
  • DOI : 10.1684/epd.2017.0924
  • Page(s) : 357-61
  • Année de parution : 2017

The WW domain-containing oxidoreductase gene is implicated in autosomal recessive disorders of the central nervous system, expressed either as spinocerebellar ataxia or as a severe form with early-infantile epileptic encephalopathy. Here, we describe the electroclinical evolution of these disorders, adding new diagnostic clues based on a case study. The patient, a boy with early-onset epilepsy, presented with profound global developmental delay, persistent hypsarrhythmia, and epileptic spasms, associated with progressive cerebral atrophy without microcephaly. Metabolic disease was excluded. Whole-exome sequencing showed mutations in the WW domain-containing oxidoreductase gene. Our findings extend the phenotypic traits of this aggressive epileptic encephalopathy, with persistent epileptic spasms and hypsarhythmia as a part of the electroclinical phenotype, demonstrating that microcephaly is not mandatory for diagnosis, even when associated with progressive cerebral atrophy. These mutations might be more frequent than expected among early-onset epileptic encephalopathies. We present practical clues for the diagnosis of WWOX encephalopathy in order to avoid unnecessary investigations and ensure appropriate genetic counselling for the families.