WHIM syndrome, an autosomal dominant disorder: Clinical, hematological, and molecular studies

Robert J. Gorlin, Bruce Gelb, George A. Diaz, Karen G. Lofsness, Mark R. Pittelkow, John R. Fenyk

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164 Scopus citations


The acronym WHIM refers to Warts, Hypogammaglobulinemia, Infections, and Myelokathexis. The latter refers to the retention of white cells in the marrow, which becomes hypercellular. We have found approximately 20 examples of WHIM syndrome in the literature under various designations; the first examples are Zuelzer [1964] and Krill et al. [1964]. Chronic noncyclic neutropenia and hypercellular bone marrow represent defective release of marrow cells into the peripheral stream (myelokathexis). The hypermature neutrophils are bizarre in form. Condensed nuclei connected by long, stringy filaments and vacuolated cytoplasm suggest apoptosis. Fever or other stress increases the release of neutrophils. Hypogammaglobulinemia is marked and associated with recurrent upper respiratory infections (sinusitis, tonsillitis, otitis media, pneumonia). Patients have numerous warts, some venereal, with resultant cervical and vulval premalignant dysplasia. We report on a kindred of 6 affected individuals in 3 generations with autosomal dominant WHIM syndrome. The sex ratio among reported patients and in our kindred is 17 female to 8 male. Because there had been no male-to-male transmission, search of the entire X-chromosome including the pseudoautosomal area was carried out and no linkage was found. Recently, the propositus has had an unaffected daughter, confirming our finding that the gene is not X- linked. A genome-wide search is being carried out. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-376
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 24 Apr 2000


  • Hypogammaglobulinemia
  • Infections
  • Myelokathexis
  • Warts


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