Mutations in SLC26A4 cause a broad phenotypic spectrum, from typical Pendred syndrome to nonsyndromic hearing loss associated with enlarged vestibular aqueduct. Identification of these mutations is important for accurate diagnosis, proper medical management and appropriate genetic counseling and requires updated information regarding spectrum, clinical characteristics and genotype-phenotype correlations, based on a large cohort. In 100 patients with bilateral enlarged vestibular aqueduct among 1511 Japanese hearing loss probands registered in our gene bank, goiter data were available for 79, of whom 15 had Pendred syndrome and 64 had nonsyndromic hearing loss. We clarified the mutation spectrum for the SLC26A4 mutations and also summarized hearing levels, progression, fluctuation and existence of genotype-phenotype correlation. SLC26A4 mutations were identified in 82 of the 100 patients (82.0%). Of the Pendred syndrome patients, 93% (14/15) were carriers, as were 77% (49/64) of the nonsyndromic hearing loss patients. Clinical characteristics of patients with SLC26A4 mutations were congenital, fluctuating and progressive hearing loss usually associated with vertigo and/or goiter. We found no genotype-phenotype correlations, indicating that, unlike in the case of GJB2 mutations, the phenotype cannot be predicted from the genotype. Our mutation analysis confirmed the importance of mutations in the SLC26A4 gene among hearing loss patients with enlarged vestibular aqueduct and revealed the mutation spectrum, essential information when performing genetic testing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas