BackgroundPrader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and Angelman syndrome (AS) are clinically distinct neurodevelopmental disorders caused by absence of paternally or maternally expressed imprinted genes on chromosome 15q11.2-q13.3 region.Methods3331 individuals was recruited from June 2013 to December 2016 under an institutional review board-approved protocol of informed consent. The methylation-specific PCR was employed as a first-tier screening test. The multiplex-fluorescent-labeled STR linkage analysis was carried out to define the underlying genetic mechanisms. The chromosomal microarray analysis was employed to identify chromosomal breakpoints in confirmed cases, and to detect other chromosomal abnormalities in undiagnosed cases. Genetic counseling and recurrence risk assessment were provided to families with affected individuals.ResultsThe methylation-specific PCR identified 36 PWS suspected patients and 13 AS suspected patients. UBE3A sequence analysis identified another 1 patient with AS. The STR linkage analysis define the underlying genetic mechanisms. Thirty PWS patients were with paternal deletions on chromosome region 15q11-q13, 5 with isodisomic uniparental disomy and 1 with mixed segmental isodisomic/ heterodisomic uniparental disomy of maternal chromosome 15. Twelve AS patients were with maternal deletions, 1 with isodisomic uniparental disomy and 1 with UBE3A gene mutation. The chromosomal microarray analysis identified chromosomal breakpoints in confirmed cases, and detected chromosomal abnormalities in another 4 patients with clinically overlapped features but tested negative for PWS/AS. Genetic counseling was offered to all families with affected individuals.ConclusionsIdentifying the disorders at early age, establishing the molecular mechanisms, carrying out treatment intervention and close monitoring can significantly improve the prognosis of PWS/AS patients.