Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

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General Discussion

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is an overgrowth disorder. It is characterized by a wide spectrum of symptoms and physical findings that vary in range and severity from person to person. However, in many individuals, associated features include above-average birth weight and increased growth after birth (macrosomia), an unusually large tongue (macroglossia), enlargement of certain internal organs (organomegaly), and abdominal wall defects (omphalocele or umbilical hernia). BWS may also be associated with low blood sugar levels within the first few days (neonatal hypoglycemia), or beyond (hyperinsulinism), distinctive grooves in the ear lobes and other facial abnormalities, abnormal enlargement of one side or structure of the body (hemihyperplasia/hemihypertrophy) resulting in unequal (asymmetric) growth, and an increased risk of developing certain childhood cancers, most commonly Wilms tumor and hepatoblastoma.

Approximately 85 percent of people with BWS have genetic changes that appear to occur randomly (sporadically). Familial transmission occurs in approximately 10-15 percent of people with this syndrome. Researchers have determined that BWS results from various abnormalities affecting the proper expression of certain genes that control growth within a specific region of chromosome 11.

Supporting Organizations

Beckwith-Wiedemann Children's Foundation International

9031 Cascadia Ave
Everett, WA 98208
Tel: (425)338-4610
Fax: (425)357-8575

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

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Last Updated:  2/22/2016
Copyright  2016 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.