II. Epidemiology

  1. Most common chromosomal abnormality
  2. Down Syndrome births: 10,000 per year in U.S. (1 in 691 live births)
  3. Prevalence: 10.3 per 10,000

III. Risk Factors

  1. Advanced Maternal Age over 34
    1. Risk increases with age, but births to young mothers still account for 80% of cases
    2. Mother age 35 years old: One in 400 births have Down Syndrome
    3. Mother age 40 years old: One in 105 births have Down Syndrome
    4. Mother age 45 years old: One in 12 births have Down Syndrome
  2. Prior child with Trisomy 21 (1% recurrence risk)
  3. Carriers of a balanced translocation of Chromosome 21

IV. Pathophysiology

  1. Trisomy of Chromosome 21 (Segment 21q22, long arm)
  2. Karyotypes
    1. Trisomy of entire chromosome with 47 chromosomes, unfamilial (95 to 97% of cases)
    2. Unbalanced translocation (4%)
      1. Chromosome with extra or missing genetic material
    3. Genetic mosaicism (2%)
      1. At least 2 cell populations with different genotypes in the same person

V. Signs

  1. Head and Facies
    1. Brachycephaly (100%)
    2. Small anteroposterior cranial dimension
    3. Posterior third Fontanel
    4. Small, low set, folded ears
    5. Persistent Inner Epicanthal Folds (90%)
    6. Mongoloid, upper slanted eyes (90%)
    7. Esotropia (50%)
    8. Brushfield's Spots (Speckled, hypopigmented) of iris (50%)
    9. Short flat nose
    10. Macroglossia (75%)
    11. Small chin
    12. Arched Palate
  2. Body Habitus
    1. Broad short neck with excessive skin
    2. Protuberant Abdomen
    3. Hyperflexibility
  3. Neurologic
    1. Moderate to severe Mental Retardation
    2. Muscular hypotonicity
  4. Hands
    1. Short, broad fingers and hand
    2. Curved pinky finger (clinodactyly)
    3. Single Simian crease with loss of palmar crease
  5. Foot
    1. Absence of whorl on ball of foot
      1. Presence of whorl suggests a child without Down Syndrome
    2. Sandal gap
      1. Widened gap between first and second toes
  6. Cardiopulmonary
    1. Cardiac murmur (50%)

VI. Labs: Diagnosis

  1. Fluorescent in situ hybridization
    1. Confirms Down Syndrome
  2. Complete genetic karyotype analysis
    1. Most common: 47 chromosomes with Trisomy 21
    2. Karyotype used to guide future pregnancy plans

VII. Associated Conditions

  1. Neurologic
    1. Intellectual Disability
      1. Mild: IQ of 50 to 69
      2. Moderate: IQ 35 to 49
      3. Severe: IQ 20 to 34
    2. Seizure disorder
    3. Autism
    4. Alzheimer's Disease clinically evident
      1. Age 30-39: 0 to 10% Prevalence
      2. Age 40-49: 10 to 25% Prevalence
      3. Age 50-59: 28 to 55% Prevalence
      4. Age 60-69: 30 to 75% Prevalence
  2. Mental Illness (30%)
    1. Major Depression (treat with SSRIs)
    2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    3. Physical abuse or sexual abuse history
    4. Conduct Disorder
    5. Self-Talk (Soliloquy) is normal (esp. when stressed)
  3. Endocrine
    1. Hypogonadism (100% in males)
    2. Congenital Hypothyroidism (10 to 40%)
    3. Hyperthyroidism
    4. Diabetes Mellitus
  4. Musculoskeletal
    1. Atlantoaxial Instability (1-2%, although up to 14% in some studies)
    2. Spinal cord compression (with secondary myelopathy)
      1. May present with gait disorders, bowel or Bladder changes or muscular weakness
    3. Congenital Hip Dislocation
  5. Cardiovascular
    1. Polycythemia
    2. Mitral Valve Prolapse
    3. Congenital Heart Disease (50%)
      1. Ventricular Septal Defect (most common)
      2. Endocardial cushion defect (most specific heart defect for Down Syndrome)
        1. AV canal defect with single chamber combining atria and ventricle
  6. Gastrointestinal
    1. Duodenal atresia
    2. Bowel Obstruction
    3. Celiac Sprue (Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy)
    4. Hirschsprung's Disease
      1. Presents earlier in Down's Syndrome
      2. Typically fails to pass meconium
      3. May present as Constipation, painless abdominal distention
  7. Otolaryngology
    1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (>50%)
    2. Conductive and Sensorineural Hearing Loss (70%)
    3. Periodontal Disease and Gingivitis
    4. Macroglossia
    5. Recurrent Serous Otitis Media
    6. Tympanic Membranes are often difficult to visualize
    7. Delayed dental eruption and hypodontia
  8. Ophthalmology
    1. Cataracts (13%)
    2. Refractive Error
    3. Keratoconus (15%)
  9. Dermatology
    1. Xerosis
  10. Hematology
    1. Polycythemia (>18%)
    2. Iron Deficiency Anemia (10%)
    3. Transient myeloproliferative disorder (10%)
    4. Leukemia (1%)
  11. Malignancy
    1. Acute Myelogenous Leukemia
    2. Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
    3. Testicular Cancer

VIII. Imaging

  1. Echocardiography
    1. Typically done following delivery as newborn, and repeated as indicated
  2. Cervical Spine XRay
    1. Not recommended for universal screening
    2. Indicated in age 3 years and older for suspicion for Atlantoaxial Instability

IX. Management: Initial Diagnosis

  1. Confirm diagnosis (see labs above)
  2. Obtain appropriate diagnostics (see approach to birth to one month below)
  3. Address consideration of Down Syndrome diagnosis with parents
    1. Unexpected Down Syndrome diagnosis will be accompanied by increased parental worry
    2. Congratulate the parents on their newborn first, then focus on the evaluation
    3. Involve consultants to help address parental questions
  4. Referrals
    1. See age specific guidelines below
    2. Early intervention program (U.S. state specific)
      1. Team of consultants (PT, OT, Speech, Vision and child psychology)
      2. Establishes medical home
      3. Investigates eligibility for services (financial, social, mental health)
      4. Creates Individual Family Services Plan (for first 3 years of life to guide care)
  5. Care Plans
    1. Individual Family Service Plan (birth to 3 years)
    2. School-focused Individualized Education Program (3 years and older)

X. Management: Adults

  1. Disposition Options for Adult Patients
    1. Independent living with supervision
    2. Group Homes
  2. Adults assumed competent to make medical decisions
    1. Address competence early if questionable
    2. Consider guardianship
    3. Evaluate Advanced Directives
    4. Consider power of attorney for finances and health
  3. Emergency department precautions
    1. Intubation precautions
      1. Macroglossia
      2. Atlantoaxial Instability (maintain c-spine precautions)
    2. Trauma precautions
      1. Low threshold for cervical spine imaging

XI. Prevention: Birth to one month

  1. Findings
    1. Standard Newborn Examination
    2. Assess for oxygen desaturation in a Car Seat
    3. Respiratory: Apnea, Stridor, Wheezing
    4. Cardiovascular: Bradycardia
    5. Gastrointestinal: Constipation, duodenal atresia, GERD
    6. Eye: Congenital Cataracts (via red Reflex Exam)
  2. Screening and Immunizations
    1. Standard Newborn Screen for Inborn Errors of Metabolism
    2. Standard Newborn Hearing Screening
  3. Labs and Diagnostics
    1. Complete Blood Count (CBC)
    2. Complete chromosomal karyotyping
    3. Echocardiogram (50% have congenital cardiac defect)
    4. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
    5. Consider swallowing study (for marked hypotonia, or feeding difficulty)
  4. Referrals
    1. Pediatric cardiology
    2. Early intervention program - see below (U.S. state specific)
    3. Consider audiology, endocrinology, pulmonology referrals

XII. Prevention: Age 1 month to 1 year

  1. Findings
    1. Neurologic: Myelopathy (spinal cord disorders), Seizure disorder
    2. Respiratory: Sleep Apnea
    3. Eye: Congenital Cataracts (via red Reflex Exam)
  2. Screening and Immunizations
    1. Pediatric Auditory Screening at age 6 months
    2. Pediatric Eye Exam
    3. Standard Primary Series of Immunizations
  3. Labs and Diagnostics
    1. Complete Blood Count (CBC)
    2. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) at ages 6 and 12 months
    3. Consider CRP and Serum Ferritin
  4. Referrals
    1. Ophthalmology
    2. Consider otolaryngology, pediatric sleep specialist

XIII. Prevention: Age 1 to 5 years

  1. Findings
    1. HEENT: Hypodontia (or delayed Tooth Eruption), Otitis Media
    2. Neurologic: Myelopathy (spinal cord disorders), Seizure disorder
    3. Respiratory: Sleep Apnea
  2. Screening and Immunizations
    1. Autism screening at 18 months and 24 months
      1. Consider repeating at 3 to 5 years of age if developmental delay interferes with screening
    2. Influenza Vaccine
    3. Vision Screening yearly
    4. Hearing screening every 6 months until 4 years of age
    5. Review care plans (every 6 months)
      1. Individual Family Service Plan (birth to 3 years)
      2. School-focused Individualized Education Program (3 years and older)
  3. Labs and Diagnostics
    1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) yearly
    2. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) yearly
    3. Consider CRP and Serum Ferritin yearly
    4. Consider Cervical Spine XRay
    5. Consider Celiac Disease testing (TTG)
  4. Referrals
    1. Ophthalmology yearly
      1. Refractive Errors and Amblyopia risk in up to 50% of patients
    2. Sleep sudy by age 4 years old
    3. Consider pediatric cardiology

XIV. Prevention: Age 5 to 13 years

  1. Findings
    1. Behavioral disorders (e.g. Attention Deficit Disorder)
    2. Neurologic: Myelopathy (spinal cord disorders), Seizure disorder
    3. Xerosis
  2. Screening and Immunizations
    1. Body Mass Index (BMI)
  3. Labs and Diagnostics
    1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) yearly
    2. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) yearly
    3. Consider CRP and Serum Ferritin yearly
  4. Referrals
    1. Audiology yearly
    2. Ophthalmology every 2 years
    3. Consider pediatric cardiology, pediatric sleep specialist

XV. Prevention: Age 13 to 21 years

  1. Findings
    1. Behavioral disorders
    2. Neurologic: Myelopathy (spinal cord disorders), Seizure disorder
    3. Cardiovascular: Mitral and aortic valve disorders
    4. Gynecologic care
  2. Screening and Immunizations
    1. Body Mass Index (BMI)
    2. Review School-focused Individualized Education Program
    3. Review family support
  3. Labs and Diagnostics
    1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) yearly
    2. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) yearly
    3. Consider Echocardiogram
  4. Referrals
    1. Audiology yearly
    2. Ophthalmology every 3 years
    3. Consider pediatric cardiology, pediatric sleep specialist

XVI. Prevention: Adults

  1. Standard Child and Adult Immunization Schedules
  2. Routine cancer screening as general population
  3. Specific Disease Screening
    1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) yearly
    2. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) yearly
    3. Blood Glucose periodically
    4. Auditory screening every 2 years
    5. Ophthalmology exam every 2 years
    6. Dental exam every 6 months
    7. Major Depression
    8. Alzheimer's Disease (over age 35 to 40 years)
    9. Mitral Valve Prolapse and valvular regurgitation
      1. Screening with careful auscultation sufficient
      2. SBE Prophylaxis if valve disease suspected
      3. Echocardiogram for confirmation
    10. Obstructive Sleep Apnea symptoms and signs
    11. Atlantoaxial Instability
      1. Ask family about Atlantoaxial Instability symptoms
      2. Annual Neurologic Exam of upper extremities
  4. Men's Exam
    1. Testicular exam yearly
  5. Women's Exam
    1. Consider modified Pap Smear
      1. Localize cervical os on bimanual exam
      2. Guide cytology brush into cervical os
    2. Consider pelvic Ultrasound instead of bimanual exam
    3. Consider Sedation with anesthesiology support
      1. Consider combining with other procedures if sedated
      2. Sedation medications
        1. Midazolam (Versed) PO or IV
        2. Ketamine

XVII. Prevention: Counseling

  1. Good dental hygiene
  2. Diet and Exercise
  3. Obesity
  4. Tobacco Cessation
  5. Alcohol use
  6. Accident prevention
  7. Contraception
  8. Functional Training
    1. Speech Therapy and Language Therapy
    2. Vocational training or job coach
  9. Support group for parent

XVIII. Prevention: Prenatal Screening

XIX. Prognosis

  1. Five-year survival: >90%
  2. Life expectancy: Age >60 years

XX. Resources

  1. Down Syndrome Health Issues by Dr. Leshin
    1. http://www.ds-health.com
  2. Denison Down Syndrome Quarterly
    1. http://www.denison.edu/dsq
  3. National Down Syndrome Congress
    1. http://www.ndsccenter.org/
  4. National Down Syndrome Society
    1. http://www.ndss.org

XXI. References

Images: Related links to external sites (from Google)

Ontology: Down Syndrome (C0013080)

Definition (NCI) A chromosomal abnormality consisting of the presence of a third copy of chromosome 21 in somatic cells.
Definition (MEDLINEPLUS)

Down syndrome is set of mental and physical symptoms that result from having an extra copy of chromosome 21. Even though people with Down syndrome may have some physical and mental features in common, symptoms of Down syndrome can range from mild to severe. Usually, mental development and physical development are slower in people with Down syndrome than in those without it.

People with the syndrome may also have other health problems. They may be born with heart disease. They may have dementia. They may have hearing problems and problems with the intestines, eyes, thyroid and skeleton.

The chance of having a baby with Down syndrome increases as a woman gets older. Down syndrome cannot be cured. However, many people with Down syndrome live productive lives well into adulthood.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Definition (MSH) A chromosome disorder associated either with an extra chromosome 21 or an effective trisomy for chromosome 21. Clinical manifestations include hypotonia, short stature, brachycephaly, upslanting palpebral fissures, epicanthus, Brushfield spots on the iris, protruding tongue, small ears, short, broad hands, fifth finger clinodactyly, Simian crease, and moderate to severe INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY. Cardiac and gastrointestinal malformations, a marked increase in the incidence of LEUKEMIA, and the early onset of ALZHEIMER DISEASE are also associated with this condition. Pathologic features include the development of NEUROFIBRILLARY TANGLES in neurons and the deposition of AMYLOID BETA-PROTEIN, similar to the pathology of ALZHEIMER DISEASE. (Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p213)
Definition (JABL) The most frequently occurring mental retardation/multiple anomaly syndrome usually involving more than 100 individual defects. Typical facies with upslanting palpebral fissures is the characteristic feature of this syndrome (hence the offensive designations "mongoloid idiocy" and "mongolism"). A wide range other defects, such as congenital heart diseases, respiratory disorders, and leukemia, may be associated. Down syndrome patients who survive into late adulthood may develop Alzheimer syndrome.
Definition (NCI) A chromosomal dysgenesis syndrome resulting from a triplication or translocation of chromosome 21. Down syndrome occurs in approximately 1:700 live births. Abnormalities are variable from individual to individual and may include mental retardation, retarded growth, flat hypoplastic face with short nose, prominent epicanthic skin folds, small low-set ears with prominent antihelix, fissured and thickened tongue, laxness of joint ligaments, pelvic dysplasia, broad hands and feet, stubby fingers, transverse palmar crease, lenticular opacities and heart disease. Patients with Down syndrome have an estimated 10 to 30-fold increased risk for leukemia; most have symptoms of Alzheimer's disease by age 40. Also known as trisomy 21 syndrome. --2004
Definition (CSP) chromosome disorder associated either with an extra chromosome 21 or an effective trisomy for chromosome 21; clinical manifestations include hypotonia, short stature, brachycephaly, upslanting palpebral fissures, epicanthus, brushfield spots on the iris, protruding tongue, small ears, short, broad hands, fifth finger clinodactyly, simian crease, and moderate to severe mental retardation.
Definition (NCI) A disorder caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21 and characterized by mental retardation and distinguishing physical features.
Concepts Congenital Abnormality (T019) , Disease or Syndrome(T047)
MSH D004314
ICD9 758.0
ICD10 Q90 , Q90.9
SnomedCT 157019002, 205618003, 41040004, 254263008, 205614001
English Chromosomal imbalance syndrome, pair 21, trisomy, Trisomy 21 syndrome, Down Syndrome, Down's Syndrome, Mongolism, Trisomy 21, Syndrome, Down's, Syndrome, Down, DOWN'S SYNDROME, Down's syndrome, MONGOLISM, MONGOLOIDISM, SYNDROME DOWN'S, TRISOMY 21 SYNDROME, Down's syndrome NOS, Down's syndrome, unspecified, Trisomy 21 NOS, trisomy 21 syndrome, DOWN SYNDROME, TRISOMY 21, mongolism, Trisomy 21 Syndrome, Downs syndrome, Down's syndrome (disorder), Down's syndrome NOS (disorder), trisomy 21 Down syndrome (diagnosis), trisomy 21 Down syndrome, Syndrome Down's, chromosome 21 trisomy syndrome, 21 trisomy, trisomy 21, congenital acromicria syndrome, Langdon Down syndrome, morbus Down, Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome)Downs SyndromeTrisomy 21 Syndrome, Down Syndrome [Disease/Finding], Chromosome 21 trisomy, down s syndrome, morbus down, 21 trisomies, mongoloidism, downing syndrome, Down syndrome, unspecified, Complete trisomy 21 syndrome, Down syndrome, T21 - Trisomy 21, Complete trisomy 21 syndrome (disorder), Down, Langdon Down, chromosome; 21, trisomy, syndrome; trisomy, 21, trisomy; 21, trisomy; syndrome, 21, Down's syndrome - trisomy 21, Downs Syndrome, G Trisomy, Mongol
French MONGOLISME, SYNDROME DE DOWN, Mongolisme, Trisomie 21, Syndrome de Down
Portuguese SINDROME DE DOWN, MONGOLISMO, Trissomia 21, Mongolismo, Síndrome de Down, Trissomia do 21
Spanish SINDROME DE DOWN, MONGOLISMO, Trisomy 21, Down's syndrome, Mongolism, Down's syndrome - trisomy 21, mongolismo, Down's syndrome NOS, síndrome de Down, SAI (trastorno), síndrome de Down, SAI, síndrome de Down, síndrome de trisomía 21 completa (trastorno), síndrome de trisomía 21 completa, trisomía del par 21, Trisomia 21, Mongolismo, Sindrome de Down, Síndrome de Down, Trisomía 21
Dutch mongolisme, syndroom van Down, chromosoom; 21, trisomie, syndroom; trisomie, 21, trisomie; 21, trisomie; syndroom, 21, Syndroom van Down, niet gespecificeerd, trisomie 21, Syndroom van Down, Down-syndroom, Mongolisme, Syndroom, Down-, Trisomie 21
German Down Syndrom, DOWN SYNDROM, Down-Syndrom, nicht naeher bezeichnet, MONGOLISMUS, Down-Syndrom, Mongolismus, Trisomie 21
Japanese 21トリソミー, モウコショウ, ダウンショウコウグン, 21トリソミー, Down症候群, Down症, ダウン症候群, トリソミー21, モンゴリスム, 蒙古症, モンゴリスムス
Swedish Downs syndrom
Czech Downův syndrom, mongolismus, Trizomie 21, Mongolismus
Finnish Downin oireyhtymä
Italian Mongolismo, Trisomia 21, Sindrome di Down, Sindrome Down
Russian MONGOLIZM, DAUNA SINDROM, EMBRIODIIA GENERALIZOVANNAIA FETAL'NAIA, KHROMOSOM 21-PARY SINDROM, TRISOMIIA 21, ДАУНА СИНДРОМ, МОНГОЛИЗМ, ТРИСОМИЯ 21, ХРОМОСОМ 21-ПАРЫ СИНДРОМ, ЭМБРИОДИЯ ГЕНЕРАЛИЗОВАННАЯ ФЕТАЛЬНАЯ
Korean 다운 증후군, 상세불명의 다운 증후군
Croatian DOWNOV SINDROM
Polish Mongolizm, Zespół Downa
Hungarian ((down-kór)), Down-syndroma, Syndroma Down, Trisomia 21