UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Idiopathic splenomegaly in childhood and the spectrum of RAS-associated lymphoproliferative disease: a case report Blanchard-Rohner, Geraldine; Ragotte, Robert J; Junker, Anne; Sharma, Mehul; Del Bel, Kate L.; Lu, Henry Y.; Erdle, Stephanie; Chomyn, Alanna; Gill, Harinder; Tucker, Lori B.; Schreiber, Richard A.; Rozmus, Jacob; Biggs, Catherine M.; Hildebrand, Kyla J.; Wu, John; Stockler-Ipsiroglu, Sylvia; Turvey, Stuart E.


Background: KRAS (KRAS proto-oncogene, GTPase; OMIM: 190,070) encodes one of three small guanosine triphosphatase proteins belonging to the RAS family. This group of proteins is responsible for cell proliferation, differentiation and inhibition of apoptosis. Gain-of-function variants in KRAS are commonly found in human cancers. Non-malignant somatic KRAS variants underlie a subset of RAS-associated autoimmune leukoproliferative disorders (RALD). RALD is characterized by splenomegaly, persistent monocytosis, hypergammaglobulinemia and cytopenia, but can also include autoimmune features and lymphadenopathy. In this report, we describe a non-malignant somatic variant in KRAS with prominent clinical features of massive splenomegaly, thrombocytopenia and lymphopenia. Case presentation: A now-11-year-old girl presented in early childhood with easy bruising and bleeding, but had an otherwise unremarkable medical history. After consulting for the first time at 5 years of age, she was discovered to have massive splenomegaly. Clinical follow-up revealed thrombocytopenia, lymphopenia and increased polyclonal immunoglobulins and C-reactive protein. The patient had an unremarkable bone marrow biopsy, flow cytometry showed no indication of expanded double negative T-cells, while malignancy and storage disorders were also excluded. When the patient was 8 years old, whole exome sequencing performed on DNA derived from whole blood revealed a heterozygous gain-of-function variant in KRAS (NM_004985.5:c.37G > T; (p.G13C)). The variant was absent from DNA derived from a buccal swab and was thus determined to be somatic. Conclusions: This case of idiopathic splenomegaly in childhood due to a somatic variant in KRAS expands our understanding of the clinical spectrum of RAS-associated autoimmune leukoproliferative disorder and emphasizes the value of securing a molecular diagnosis in children with unusual early-onset presentations with a suspected monogenic origin.

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