Background: Bernard-Soulier syndrome (BSS) is a congenital bleeding disorder characterised by thrombocytopenia, giant platelets and decreased platelet adhesion resulting from genetic alterations of the glycoprotein (GP) Ib/IX/V complex. Objectives: Three sisters with a lifelong bleeding history and a provisional diagnosis of BSS were referred for further characterisation of their bleeding diathesis. The siblings' symptoms varied in severity from skin and gum bleeding to menorrhagia associated with iron-deficiency anaemia requiring regular transfusion of red cells and platelets. The parents were consanguineous but did not demonstrate any bleeding disorder. Methods: The family were investigated using standard haematological techniques, platelet aggregometry, platelet membrane GP analysis and DNA sequencing of the genes encoding the GPIb/IX complex. Results: All 3 sisters had thrombocytopenia and giant platelets. Platelet aggregation and flow cytometry studies confirmed the lack of aggregation with ristocetin and a markedly reduced GPIb/IX surface expression. Molecular analysis demonstrated a novel homozygous c.800C>G substitution in GP1BA exon 2 leading to a serine 267 Ter stop codon in all 3 siblings. Conclusions: A novel, nonsense mutation was identified as the cause of the bleeding disorder in this family. This is the first reported BSS mutation identified in a family from Kuwait.

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