CDK9 has been considered a candidate gene involved in the CHARGE-like syndrome in a pair of cousins. We report an 8-year-old boy with a strikingly similar phenotype including facial asymmetry, microtia with preauricular tags and bilateral hearing loss, cleft lip and palate, cardiac dysrhythmia, and undescended testes. Joint contracture, no finger flexion creases, and large halluces were the same as those of a previously reported patient with homozygous CDK9 variants. The ocular phenotype included blepharophimosis, lacrimal duct obstruction, eyelid dermoids, Duane syndrome-like abduction deficit, and congenital cataracts. Optical coherence tomography and electroretinography evaluations revealed severe retinal dystrophy had developed at an early age. Trio-based whole-exome sequencing identified compound heterozygous variants in CDK9 [p.(A288T) of maternal origin and p.(R303C) of paternal origin] in the patient. Variants’ kinase activities were reduced compared with wild type. We concluded that CDK9 biallelic variants cause a CHARGE-like malformation syndrome with retinal dystrophy as a distinguishing feature.
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