Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS)

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) refers to an overgrowth condition characterized by a larger than normal physical build during childhood. For some affected individuals, the body parts on one side are larger which causes an uneven appearance. The growth typically slows down by age 8 and the condition is not that apparent during adulthood. The symptoms vary; these include abdominal wall defects (such as abdominal wall opening and hernia, macrosomia, macroglossia, kidney problems, and creases near the ears. Those with this condition are at an increased risk of developing kidney cancer; however, most patients have normal life expectancies.

The treatment is generally a management of the symptoms and prevention of complications. BWS is caused by an abnormality in the 11th chromosome; around 85% of cases report a family member with the same condition. This was first described by Bruce Beckwith and Rudolf Wiedemann in the 1960s.

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