CHARGE syndrome

What causes CHARGE syndrome?

CHARGE syndrome is caused by mutations in the CHD7 gene in the majority of cases. Almost all mutations in affected individuals are de novo, which means they occur for the first time as new mutations and are not inherited from a parent. However, autosomal dominant inheritance with transmission from parent to child has been reported in rare cases.

The CHD7 gene provides instructions for making a protein that most likely regulates gene activity (expression). Most mutations in the CHD7 gene lead to the production of an abnormally short, nonfunctional CHD7 protein, which is thought to disrupt the regulation of gene expression. Changes in gene expression during embryonic development likely cause the signs and symptoms of CHARGE syndrome.

About one-third of individuals with CHARGE syndrome do not have an identified mutation in the CHD7 gene. The cause is unknown in these individuals, but researchers suspect that other genetic and/or environmental factors may be involved.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is genetic testing available for CHARGE syndrome?

Genetic testing is available for CHARGE syndrome. The CHD7 gene is the only gene in which mutations are known to cause CHARGE syndrome. The CHD7 mutation detection rate when sequence analysis is performed is estimated to be 65%-70% for all typical and suspected cases combined.

GeneTests lists the names of laboratories that are performing clinical genetic testing for CHARGE syndrome. To view the contact information for these laboratories, click here. Please note that most of the laboratories listed through GeneTests do not accept direct contact from patients and their families. Therefore, if you are interested in learning more, you will need to work with a health care provider or a genetics professional.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is CHARGE syndrome inherited?

CHARGE syndrome is usually not inherited, typically occurring due to a new (de novo) gene mutation in the affected individual. However, rare familial cases inherited in an autosomal dominant manner have been described.

To our knowledge, all individuals who have a CHD7 mutation have some features of CHARGE syndrome (i.e. penetrance is 100%). In rare instances, one parent may have mild features, and the family history may appear to be negative because of failure to recognize the mild features of the condition.

The risk to the siblings of an affected individual depends on the genetic status of the individual's parents. If a parent of an affected child also has CHARGE syndrome, the risk for each sibling to inherit the condition is 50%. If neither parent is affected, the risk to each sibling of an affected child is estimated to be 1%-2%, most likely attributable to germline mosaicism. Prenatal diagnosis for pregnancies at increased risk is possible if the disease-causing CHD7 mutation has been identified in an affected family member.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Where To Start

CHARGE Syndrome Foundation

The CHARGE Syndrome Foundation offers information on CHARGE syndrome

Last updated on 04-27-20

Name: About Face International 51 Wolseley Street Toronto, ON M5T 1A4
Phone: +1-416-597-2229 Toll Free: 1-800-665-3223 Fax : +1-416-597-8494 Email: Url:
Name: Children's Craniofacial Association 13140 Coit Road Suite 517
Dallas, TX, 75240 , United States
Phone: +1-214-570-9099 Toll Free: 1-800-535-3643 Fax : +1-214-570-8811 Email: Url:
Name: CHARGE Syndrome Foundation 141 Middle Neck Road
Sands Point, NY, 11050, United States
Phone: 800-442-7604; 516-684-4720 Fax : 516-883-9060 Email: Url:

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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