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Feingold syndrome


Feingold syndrome is a disorder that affects many parts of the body. There are two types of Feingold syndrome, distinguished by their genetic cause; both types have similar features that can vary among affected individuals.

Individuals with Feingold syndrome type 1 or type 2 have characteristic abnormalities of their fingers and toes. Almost all people with this condition have a specific hand abnormality called brachymesophalangy, which refers to shortening of the second and fifth fingers. Other common abnormalities include fifth fingers that curve inward (clinodactyly), underdeveloped thumbs (thumb hypoplasia), and fusion (syndactyly) of the second and third toes or the fourth and fifth toes.

Additional common features of both types of Feingold syndrome include an unusually small head size (microcephaly), a small jaw (micrognathia), a narrow opening of the eyelids (short palpebral fissures), and mild to moderate learning disabilities. Less often, affected individuals have hearing loss, short stature, or kidney or heart abnormalities.

People with Feingold syndrome type 1 are frequently born with a blockage in part of their digestive system called gastrointestinal atresia. In most cases, the blockage occurs in the esophagus (esophageal atresia) or in part of the small intestine (duodenal atresia). Individuals with type 2 do not have gastrointestinal atresias.


Feingold syndrome appears to be a rare condition, although its exact prevalence is unknown. Type 1 is more common than type 2.


Mutations in the MYCN gene cause Feingold syndrome type 1, and mutations in chromosome 13 that remove (delete) a region of the chromosome that includes the MIR17HG gene cause type 2. Both genes are involved in growth and development, particularly before birth.

The MYCN gene provides instructions for making a protein that regulates the activity (expression) of other genes. The protein attaches (binds) to specific regions of DNA and controls the first step of protein production (transcription). Studies suggest that the MYCN protein is necessary for normal development of the limbs, heart, kidneys, lungs, nervous system, and digestive system.

The MIR17HG gene provides instructions for making a set of microRNAs (miRNAs) known as the miR-17~92 cluster. MiRNAs are short pieces of RNA, a chemical cousin of DNA. These molecules control gene expression by blocking protein production. The miRNAs in the miR-17~92 cluster are involved in the development of many tissues and organs in the body.

Mutations affecting the MYCN or MIR17HG gene that cause Feingold syndrome prevent one copy of the gene in each cell from producing any functional protein or miRNAs, respectively. As a result, only half the normal amount of the protein or miRNAs is available to control the activity of specific genes during development. It remains unclear how a reduced amount of the MYCN protein or miR-17~92 cluster miRNAs cause the specific features of Feingold syndrome.


This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder.

Other Names for This Condition

  • Brunner-Winter syndrome
  • Microcephaly-mesobrachyphalangy-tracheoesophageal fistula (MMT) syndrome
  • Microcephaly-oculo-digito-esophageal-duodenal (MODED) syndrome
  • Oculo-digito-esophagoduodental (ODED) syndrome

Additional Information & Resources

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

Patient Support and Advocacy Resources

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Scientific Articles on PubMed


  • Celli J, van Bokhoven H, Brunner HG. Feingold syndrome: clinical review and genetic mapping. Am J Med Genet A. 2003 Nov 1;122A(4):294-300. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.20471. Citation on PubMed
  • de Pontual L, Yao E, Callier P, Faivre L, Drouin V, Cariou S, Van Haeringen A, Genevieve D, Goldenberg A, Oufadem M, Manouvrier S, Munnich A, Vidigal JA, Vekemans M, Lyonnet S, Henrion-Caude A, Ventura A, Amiel J. Germline deletion of the miR-17 approximately 92 cluster causes skeletal and growth defects in humans. Nat Genet. 2011 Sep 4;43(10):1026-30. doi: 10.1038/ng.915. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Grote LE, Repnikova EA, Amudhavalli SM. Expanding the phenotype of feingold syndrome-2. Am J Med Genet A. 2015 Dec;167A(12):3219-25. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.37368. Epub 2015 Sep 11. Citation on PubMed
  • Marcelis CL, Hol FA, Graham GE, Rieu PN, Kellermayer R, Meijer RP, Lugtenberg D, Scheffer H, van Bokhoven H, Brunner HG, de Brouwer AP. Genotype-phenotype correlations in MYCN-related Feingold syndrome. Hum Mutat. 2008 Sep;29(9):1125-32. doi: 10.1002/humu.20750. Citation on PubMed
  • Marcelis CLM, de Brouwer APM. Feingold Syndrome 1. 2009 Jun 30 [updated 2019 Apr 4]. In: Adam MP, Feldman J, Mirzaa GM, Pagon RA, Wallace SE, Bean LJH, Gripp KW, Amemiya A, editors. GeneReviews(R) [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2024. Available from Citation on PubMed
  • Teszas A, Meijer R, Scheffer H, Gyuris P, Kosztolanyi G, van Bokhoven H, Kellermayer R. Expanding the clinical spectrum of MYCN-related Feingold syndrome. Am J Med Genet A. 2006 Oct 15;140(20):2254-6. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.31407. No abstract available. Citation on PubMed
  • van Bokhoven H, Celli J, van Reeuwijk J, Rinne T, Glaudemans B, van Beusekom E, Rieu P, Newbury-Ecob RA, Chiang C, Brunner HG. MYCN haploinsufficiency is associated with reduced brain size and intestinal atresias in Feingold syndrome. Nat Genet. 2005 May;37(5):465-7. doi: 10.1038/ng1546. Epub 2005 Apr 10. Citation on PubMed

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.