Williams Syndrome Clinic

Contact Us

Phone: (832) 824-2728

The Williams Syndrome Clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital provides world-class subspecialty care for people with Williams syndrome, a relatively rare genetic condition that affects about 1 in every 10,000 births. Our Williams Syndrome Clinic is housed within the Texas Children’s Heart Center and is primarily staffed by the members of the Cardiovascular Genetics Team. With input from multiple other sub-specialties, our clinic strives to be the life-long medical home for people living with Williams Syndrome.

Williams Syndrome (also called Williams-Beuren Syndrome or WBS) is caused by the deletion of a small region of the 7th chromosome known as 7q11.23, or the WBS critical region. This deletion results in a multisystem disorder that can have related effects on nearly every body system. People with Williams syndrome can have a wide range of unique features. One of the more notable features often seen in people with Williams is a gregarious, fun-loving and hyper-social personality. Other features often include mild to severe intellectual disability; distinctive facial features, often including an upturned nose, broad forehead, wide mouth and full lips; and cardiovascular abnormalities, which can range from very mild to severe.

Our multidisciplinary clinic unites experts with the knowledge, understanding and experience to screen, identify and provide cutting-edge medical intervention when needed for children with Williams syndrome and its related conditions.

The cardiac features commonly associated with Williams syndrome include:

  • Supravalvar aortic stenosis – narrowing of the large blood vessel just above the aortic valve. This vessel carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
  • Supravalvar pulmonary stenosis – narrowing of the large blood vessel just above the pulmonary valve. This vessel carries blood from the heart to the lungs.
  • Coronary artery narrowing – narrowing of the main blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.

These cardiac conditions may be very mild, never requiring intervention, or they may be severe enough to warrant surgery in the first years of life.

Other  features commonly associated with Williams syndrome include:

  • Hypercalcemia – higher than normal calcium levels in the blood
  • Renal artery stenosis – narrowing of one or more arteries that carry blood to the kidneys
  • Feeding difficulty – difficulty consuming adequate amounts or varieties of food
  • Delayed development – prolonged development compared to others of the same age
  • Hypotonia –  decreased muscle tone
  • Hypertension – increased blood pressure above normal levels
  • Anesthesia concerns –  increased risk of sudden cardiac death during sedation

Connect with us

To connect with our clinic, please contact our nurse coordinator, Desiree Yem, at (832) 824-2728. She will be more than happy to answer your questions and connect you with our available subspecialists.