The Spectrum of the Prader-Willi-like Pheno- and Genotype: A Review of the Literature

Alicia F. Juriaans*, Gerthe F. Kerkhof, Anita C.S. Hokken-Koelega

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a rare genetic syndrome, caused by the loss of expression of the paternal chromosome 15q11-q13 region. Over the past years, many cases of patients with characteristics similar to PWS, but without a typical genetic aberration of the 15q11-q13 region, have been described. These patients are often labelled as Prader-Willi-like (PWL). PWL is an as-yet poorly defined syndrome, potentially affecting a significant number of children and adults. In the current clinical practice, patients labelled as PWL are mostly left without treatment options. Considering the similarities with PWS, children with PWL might benefit from the same care and treatment as children with PWS. This review gives more insight into the pheno- and genotype of PWL and includes 86 papers, containing 368 cases of patients with a PWL phenotype. We describe mutations and aberrations for consideration when suspicion of PWS remains after negative testing. The most common genetic diagnoses were Temple syndrome (formerly known as maternal uniparental disomy 14), Schaaf-Yang syndrome (truncating mutation in the MAGEL2 gene), 1p36 deletion, 2p deletion, 6q deletion, 6q duplication, 15q deletion, 15q duplication, 19p deletion, fragile X syndrome, and Xq duplication. We found that the most prevalent symptoms in the entire group were developmental delay/intellectual disability (76%), speech problems (64%), overweight/obesity (57%), hypotonia (56%), and psychobehavioral problems (53%). In addition, we propose a diagnostic approach to patients with a PWL phenotype for (pediatric) endocrinologists. PWL comprises a complex and diverse group of patients, which calls for multidisciplinary care with an individualized approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEndocrine Reviews
Issue number1
Early online date30 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'The Spectrum of the Prader-Willi-like Pheno- and Genotype: A Review of the Literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this