BioScience Trends. 2018;12(4):419-425. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2018.01159)

Children with GJB2 gene mutations have various audiological phenotypes.

Wang XL, Huang LH, Zhao XL, Wang XY, Cheng XH, Du YT, Liu DX


The current study retrospectively investigated variations in audiological phenotypes in children with GJB2 gene mutations. Subjects were 128 infants and young children who were seen as outpatients by Otology at Beijing Tongren Hospital from 2012 to 2018. Of the 128 subjects, 99 had biallelic truncating (T/T) mutations and 29 had truncating/nontruncating (T/ NT) mutations. Genotypes, results of universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS), and the degree and symmetry of hearing loss were examined in the two groups. Twenty-two subjects (20.37%, 22/128) passed UNHS, including 13 children with T/T mutations and 9 with T/NT mutations. Of the 128 subjects, 22 had normal hearing, 2 had unilateral hearing loss, and 115 had bilateral hearing loss. Severe-to-profound hearing loss was the most prevalent phenotype in children with T/T mutations (73.23%), while normal hearing was prevalent in children with T/NT mutations (41.38%). Symmetrical hearing loss was the main phenotype in both groups, and the number of subjects with symmetrical hearing loss did not differ significantly between the two groups. Therefore, children with GJB2 gene mutations have phenotypic variability in terms of their results of UNHS and their degree and symmetry of hearing loss. Subjects with T/NT mutations of the GJB2 gene were more likely to pass UNHS and had milder hearing loss compared to those with T/T mutations. Symmetrical hearing loss was the main phenotype in the two groups, but 36.53% of children had bilateral asymmetric hearing loss. Parents of all subjects with sensorineural hearing loss were informed that their children may have a GJB2 mutation.

KEYWORDS: GJB2 gene, screening, Genotype

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