The Williams Syndrome Clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital provides world-class subspecialty care for people with Williams syndrome, a genetic condition that affects about 1 in every 10,000 births. Housed within Texas Children’s Heart Center and staffed primarily by the Cardiovascular Genetics Program team, we strive to be a life-long medical home for people living with Williams syndrome.
What is Williams syndrome?
Williams syndrome (also called Williams-Beuren Syndrome or WBS) occurs when a small region of the 7th chromosome known as 7q11.23, or the WBS critical region, is deleted. The loss of this small section of genes results in a multisystem disorder that can affect nearly every body system. People with Williams syndrome are sometimes known to have gregarious, social personalities. Other features can range in severity and can include intellectual disability and cardiovascular abnormality. Distinctive facial features, such as a broad forehead and wide mouth, are also commonly seen.
Since so many organ systems can be involved in Williams syndrome to varying degrees, if you have Williams syndrome, it’s essential to find a medical team that has the experience and resources necessary to provide quality care. Our multidisciplinary clinic is prepared to screen, identify and treat all aspects of Williams syndrome and its related conditions.
Common features of Williams syndrome
Several heart conditions can occur with Williams syndrome. They can be very mild, never requiring intervention, or they may be severe enough to warrant surgery in the first years of life. Common heart conditions found with Williams syndrome include:
Supravalvar aortic stenosis: narrowing of the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body
Supravalvar pulmonary stenosis: narrowing of the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs
Coronary artery narrowing: narrowing of the smaller blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen
Many organ systems are often involved in Williams syndrome, which is why our clinic is staffed by experts who know what to look for to keep you healthy. Other features commonly associated with Williams syndrome include:
Dangerously high levels of calcium in the blood
Decreased muscle tone
High blood pressure
Increased risk for complications from anesthesia
Renal artery stenosis (narrowing of one or more arteries that carry blood to the kidneys)
Connect with us
To connect with our clinic, call our nurse coordinator at 832-824-2728, who will be able to answer your questions and connect you with our available subspecialists.