Natural History of SURF1 Deficiency: A Retrospective Chart Review

Tuba Rashid Khan, Inka Leprince, Souad Messahel, Berge A. Minassian, Saima Kayani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This retrospective chart review evaluated the clinical characteristics of SURF1-related neurological disease spectrum to better characterize the phenotypes. Methods: Patient demographics, magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities, neurological events, motor abnormalities, and gastrointestinal and respiratory assistance were evaluated in 27 patients with genetically diagnosed SURF1 deficiency. Results: The mean (S.D.) age of symptom onset collected from 13 patients was 19.7 (11.8) months. Mean (S.D.) age of diagnosis collected from 24 patients was 44.0 (45.1) months. The most common symptoms were gross motor delay (14 of 14), fine motor delay (10 of 11), verbal delay (9 of 10), and intellectual and learning disability (14 of 19). Neurological symptoms included ataxia (14 of 15), other abnormal movements (8 of 9), hypotonia (9 of 11), and dystonia (6 of 9). Three of nine reporting patients (33.3%) had a history of seizure, and 84.6% (11 of 13) had a history of regression/loss of acquired skills. Extraneurological clinical features included pulmonary complications (10 of 11) and feeding difficulties (13 of 13); cardiac complications were noted in three patients. Brainstem is frequently involved with the medulla and midbrain being the most common sites. As of July 2021, three patients were deceased. Conclusions: The most common clinical symptoms were motor delay, verbal delay, intellectual and learning disability, dysphagia, feeding difficulties, and reflux. Neurological presentations include ataxia, hypotonia, visual/ocular abnormalities, dystonia, and imaging abnormalities include basal ganglia and brainstem lesions. Although heterogeneous, SURF1 deficiency should be considered with these clinical and imaging presentations and may support earlier identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-46
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease 4K
  • Leigh syndrome
  • Mitochondrial disease
  • SURF1
  • SURF1 deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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