Clinical manifestations and evaluation of isolated lissencephaly

L. Pavone, R. Rizzo, W. B. Dobyns

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17 Scopus citations


Lissencephaly ("smooth brain") is a brain malformation characterized by a smooth cerebral surface, incomplete neuronal migration, and secondary abnormalities such as mental retardation, seizures, and minor facial dysmorphisms. Recent reports have produced evidence supporting several different causes including submicroscopic deletions in chromosome band 17p13.3, autosomal recessive inheritance, intrauterine infection, and intrauterine perfusion failure. We describe the clinical manifestations in seven patients with lissencephaly, and review pertinent studies regarding possible causes. The clinical manifestations were uniformly severe. All patients had severe mental retardation, hypotonia, often combined with spastic paralysis, and infantile spasms which did not respond to treatment. Most had poor growth, postnatal microcephaly, feeding problems, and frequent respiratory infections including pneumonia. None had other significant birth defects. Appropriate studies include computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (sometimes both), chromosome analysis, DNA analysis of the lissencephaly region on chromosome 17, electroencephalography and sometimes metabolic studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-390
Number of pages4
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1993


  • Brain malformation
  • Infantile spasms
  • Lissencephaly
  • Mental retardation


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