Angelman syndrome (AS) is characterised by developmental delay, lack of speech, seizures, a characteristic behavioural profile with a happy demeanour, microcephaly, and ataxia. More than two-thirds of cases are due to an approximately 5-Mb interstitial deletion of the imprinted region 15q11.2q13, which is usually de novo. The rest are associated with point mutations in the UBE3A gene, imprinting defects, and paternal uniparental disomy. Small intragenic UBE3A deletions have rarely been described. They are usually maternally inherited, increasing the recurrence risk to 50%, and may be missed by conventional testing (methylation studies and UBE3A gene sequencing). We describe a boy with AS due to an 11.7-kb intragenic deletion. The deletion was identified by array-CGH and was subsequently detected in his affected first cousin and unaffected maternal grandfather, mother, and aunt, confirming the silencing of the paternal allele. The patient had developmental delay, speech impairment, a happy demeanour, microcephaly, and an abnormal EEG, but no seizures by the age of 4 years. Delineation of the underlying genetic mechanism is of utmost importance for reasons of genetic counselling, as well as appropriate management and prognosis. Alternative techniques, such as array-CGH and MLPA, are necessary when conventional testing for AS has failed to identify the underlying genetic mechanism.

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