Williams-Beuren Syndrome: Computed Tomography Imaging Review

Karuna M. Das, Tarek S. Momenah, Sven G. Larsson, Shehla Jadoon, Abdullah S. Aldosary, Edward Y. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) affects young infants and children. The underlying etiopathogenesis of this rare disease is due to the mutation of the elastin gene that is responsible for the elasticity of the arterial wall. As a result of inadequate elastin production, the major systemic arteries become abnormally rigid and can be manifested by an impediment to the blood flow. The most common cardiovascular abnormalities encountered in WBS are supravalvular aortic stenosis, pulmonary arterial stenosis, and mitral valve prolapse. Less frequently observed cardiovascular abnormalities include coarctation of the aorta, ventricular septal defect, patent ductus, subaortic stenosis, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Coronary artery stenosis and severe impediment to the bi-ventricular outflow as a result of supravalvular aortic and pulmonary artery stenosis predispose patients to sudden death. Patients with progressed arterial stenosis and severe stenosis are likely to require intervention to prevent serious complications. Rarely, imaging findings may precede clinical presentation, which allows the radiologist to participate in the patient care. However, to be more prudent, the radiologist must be accustomed to the imaging characteristics of WBS as well as the patient’s clinical information, which could raise the suspicion of WBS. We performed a retrospective analysis of all the available images from patients diagnosed with WBS in last 4 years at our institution, and present key imaging findings along with a review of the literature to summarize the clinically relevant features as demonstrated by multidetector computed tomography in WBS. Cross-sectional imaging plays a vital role in the diagnosis of WBS cases with equivocal clinical features. MDCT evaluation of complex cardiovascular abnormalities of WBS including coronary artery disease is feasible with modern MDCT scanners and in the future, this approach could provide accurate information for planning, navigation, and noninvasive assessment of the secondary arterial changes in WBS and thus reducing the dependence upon invasive contrast catherization techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1309-1320
Number of pages12
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Coronary artery disease
  • MDCT
  • Pulmonary artery diverticulum
  • Supravalvular aortic stenosis
  • Supravalvular pulmonary artery stenosis
  • Williams-Beuren syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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