Little Leopard' Syndrome - .mnemonic by Gorlin, Anderson, and Blaw (1969) to the syndrome of multiple

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  • Archives of Disease in Childhood, 1971, 46, 85.

    'Little Leopard' Syndrome

    Description of 3 Cases and Review of 24

    DOUGLAS PICKERING,* BERNARD LASKI, D. C. MACMILLANt, and VERA ROSEFrom the Department of Cardiology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and the Radcliffe

    Infirmary, Oxford

    Pickering, D., Laski, B., MacMillan, D. C., and Rose, V. (1971). Archives ofDisease in Childhood, 46, 85. 'Little leopard' syndrome. Description of3 cases and review of 24. Three cases of the 'Little Leopard' syndrome aredescribed; its features are short stature, lentigines, electrocardiographic and oculardefects, pulmonary infundibular stenosis, abnormal genitalia, mental retardation,and deafness. The published material is reviewed, and the cardiac and electro-cardiographic abnormalities are described in detail.

    The word 'leopard' was first applied as amnemonic by Gorlin, Anderson, and Blaw (1969)to the syndrome of multiple lentigines, electro-cardiographic conduction abnormalities, ocularhypertelorism, pulmonary stenosis and othercongenital heart defects, abnormalities of genitaliaand reproductive physiology, retarded growth, anddeafness. The condition is inherited as an auto-somal dominant of variable penetrance.

    Lentigines are small dark-brown spots which maybe present at birth or appear shortly after. Theirpathognomonic feature is the combination of asaw-tooth appearance of the dermal epidermaljunction combined with a single layer of pigmentcells which contrasts with the nests of the cells thatoccur in a naevus. They usually appear earlierthan freckles, contain a greater number of melano-cytes per unit of skin area, and do not increase innumber with exposure to sunlight.

    This paper reports 3 cases, 2 seen at The Hospitalfor Sick Children, Toronto, and one at the RadcliffeInfirmary, Oxford, together with a review of theliterature, in which it appears that while a number ofthe children are retarded physically, a significantproportion are also retarded mentally. We havetherefore altered the meaning of the 'r' in 'leopard'to represent retarded mentally.

    Received 6 July 1970.*Supported by the Ontario Heart Foundation and the Wellcome

    Foundation, England.tPresent address: Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, England.

    Case HistoriesCase 1. A previously healthy 5-year-old boy was

    found, during a routine medical examination, to have aheart murmur. His growth and development had beenslower than that of his sibs. He was admitted tohospital at 8 years ofage because ofan increasing numberof brownish spots developing on his skin during thepreceding year. On physical examination his height,weight, and head circumference were on the 60thcentile. He was covered with multiple pigmentedlesions and had a bulging left praecordium (Fig. la).There was a blowing pansystolic murmur, grade 2/4 atthe apex conducted to the axilla, and a grade 2/4rumbling mid-diastolic murmur at the apex. Noother abnormality was noted. Biopsy of a skinlesion showed the sharply localized area of hyper-pigmentation in the basal layers of the epidermisand the overlying prickle-cells, characteristic of alentigo. X-ray of the abdomen showed calcification ofthe right adrenal gland but an intravenous pyelogramwas normal. Skeletal maturation, skull x-rays, protein-bound iodine, fasting blood sugar, Hb, WBC, differential,17 ketosteroids, ASO titre, electrolytes, urine, andadrenal stimulation tests were all normal. Theelectrocardiogram showed sinus rhythm and left axisdeviation with an anticlockwise loop and left ventricularand probably left atrial hypertrophy (Fig. lb). Chestx-ray showed a normal heart size and normal pulmonaryvascularity. A diagnosis of mitral incompetence withostium primum atrial septal defect was made. However,on right-sided cardiac catheterization no evidence ofright-to-left shunt was found. The patient was dis-charged home without specific treatment.At 12 years of age the boy was doing poorly in school.


  • Pickering, Laski, MacMillan, and Rose

    *4 V Ne i;- ww i1:: .1it.' 1: 11. .....

    t*4'AY M

    (a) (b)FIG. 1.-Case 1. (a) Front view. (b) ECG shows left ventricular hypertrophy and left axis deviation.

    He had developed bilateral ptosis. His testicles were time he was treated unsuccessfully with chorionicundescended and could not be manipulated into the gonadotrophin for undescended testes.scrotum. Skeletal maturation was retarded. His IQ He was admitted again at 13 years of age for bilateralwas 90 and his verbal ability significantly low. At this orchidopexy and left hemiorrhaphy. At this time his

    (a)FIG. 2.-Case 2. (a) ECG shows right ventricular hypertrophy and T


    . a

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  • 'Little Leopard' Syndromeheight and weight were below the 3rd centile. Thelentigo profusa had increased to cover his entire body.Cardiothoracic ratio was increased slightly over thatfound on the previous admission. The ECG wasunchanged. Cardiac catheterization and laevocardio-gram showed moderate mitral incompetence. Thelaevocardiogram was reviewed again following a reportby Moynahan (1970) of hypertrophic obstructivecardiomyopathy (HOCM) in these cases, and showedprobable subaortic stenosis, suggesting that the mitralincompetence was secondary to the HOCM. Audiologyshowed a presbycusis type of curve suggesting cochlearinvolvement. A bilateral orchidopexy and left hernior-rhaphy were carried out and the boy discharged home.

    Case 2. A symptom-free 2-year-old boy was referredto The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, because of asystolic murmur discovered during the course of arespiratory tract infection. His physical developmentwas normal. No freckles or pigmentation were re-marked on at that time. There was a grade 2/4 ejectionsystolic murmur maximal in the 3rd left intercostalspace at the left sternal edge. Chest x-ray was normal.Electrocardiogram showed sinus rhythm, axis +3000,and right ventricular hypertrophy with an anticlockwiseloop and T wave inversion over the left ventricularleads (Fig. 2a). Cardiac catheterization showed mildinfundibular pulmonary stenosis. The patient wastreated for otitis media and pharyngitis and dischargedhome.He was readmitted to hospital 8 years later at the age

    of 10 for surgical correction of a squint. His lateralcanthi were noted to be 4 mm lower than the medial

    (b\wave inversion in left-sided chest leads. (b) Face. (c) Trunk, front view

    canthi By the age of 12 years he was covered withmultiple lentiginous spots (Fig. 2b and c).He was attending a school for retarded children. His

    hostility made it impossible to measure his IQ.At 14 years of age he had some right-sided hearing loss

    though his tympanic membranes were normal. Afterthis time he attended an adult clinic.

    Case 3. The patient's birthweight was normal, buthe failed to grow at a normal rate. At 2 years of age hedeveloped brown spots on his body, and these slowlyincreased in number, size, and darkness. He wasinvestigated at 10 years of age in the Churchill Hospital,Oxford, because he was small. No renal, bone, orabsorption defect was found. His IQ was 85. Hisprimary dentition was delayed and his secondary denti-tion was very carious, and for this reason his teeth wereremoved at 11 years of age. At 12 years of age abilateral orchidopexy was performed. He had nosymptoms referrable to the cardiovascular system buthad had two short periods of unconsciousness whiletravelling on a bus. Profuse pigmented lentigines,1 mm to 1 cm in size, covered his body (Macmillan(for Vickers), 1969). His height was below the 3rdcentile and skeletal maturation was normal for his age.He was in sinus rhythm. The rest of the examination ofthe cardiovascular system was normal except for anejection sound at the left sternal edge and an ejectionsystolic murmur in the pulmonary area after exerciseonly. Chest x-ray was normal. ECG showed left axisdeviation (270), with marked clockwise rotation withupright T waves in Vl suggesting right ventricularhypertrophy (Fig. 3). Right heart catheterization



  • Pickering, Laski, MacMillan, and RoseTABLI

    Reported Cases oj

    ZeislerReference This Report and Becker Moynahan (1962) Walther et al. (1966) Capute (1969)


    Case No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

    Sex M M M F F F M M F M F F F

    Little (small stature) + - + + + + + + + +Lentigines + + + + + + + + + + + + +ECG + + + + + +Ocular + + _ + +Pulmonary stenosis, HOCM, etc. + + _ + + + + + + + +Abnormal genitalia + + - + + + I + +Retarded mentally + + + + + + +Deaf + + - + +

    + Found. - Not at present. Blank: Not tested.

    showed normal pressures and saturations on pulmonarycapillary wedge, but the procedure was discontinuedbecause of transient heart block. The electroencephalo-gram suggested epilepsy.

    DiscussionPrevious reports of this syndrome are summarized

    in the Table. Zeisler and Becker (1936) describeda case with multiple lentigines, pectus carinatum,ocular hypertelorism, and mandibular prognathism,but no cardiac defects. Moynahan (1962) reportedlentigines in 4 unrelated patients, 2 females and 2males of reduced stature and normal intelligence.Both girls had psychic infantilism, short stature,endomyocardial fibroelastosis, and delayed puberty.One girl had a single hypoplastic ovary. Both boyswere short. One had 'endomyocardial elastosis(congenital mitral stenosis)', the other a normalheart. One had an ectopic right testis and hypo-spadias. His EEG was stated to show 'mani-festations of immaturity'.

    Walther, Polansky, and Grots (1966) reportedmultiple lentigines and cardiac abnormalities in amother and 2 of her 3 children. The mother wasbelow the 3rd centile for height. Her menarchehad been delayed to 18 years. The EEG 'suggestedright bundle-branch block and a pattern associatedwith infarction of