Diagnosing Noonan syndrome

Noonan syndrome may be suspected if your child has some of the signs and symptoms associated with the condition.


  • distinctive facial features
  • short stature ( Short stature )
  • a mild learning disability
  • undescended testicles
  • lymphoedema

In most cases, Noonan syndrome can be confirmed by a blood test for the various genetic mutations. However, in about 1 in 5 cases no specific mutation can be found, so a negative blood test will not rule out Noonan syndrome.

Further testing

If Noonan syndrome has been confirmed or is strongly suspected, further testsare needed toestablish theextent of the symptoms. These tests may include:

  • an electrocardiogram (ECG) where electrodes (small, metallic discs placed on the skin) measure the electrical activity of the heart
  • an echocardiogram an ultrasound scan ofthe heart
  • an educational assessment
  • blood tests to check how well the blood clots
  • eye tests to check for problems such as squints or blurred vision
  • hearing tests to check for problems such as hearing loss caused by otitis media or damage to the cells or nerves inside the ear

Some of these tests may need to be repeated regularly after the diagnosis, to monitor the condition.

Diagnosis during pregnancy

If you're pregnant, it may be possible to test your unborn baby for Noonan syndrome if:

  • you, your partner or a close family member has been found to carry one of the faulty genes associated with the condition
  • routineultrasound scans detect possible signs of the condition in your baby, such as polyhydramnios (an excessive amount of amniotic fluid), pleural effusion (fluid in the space around the lungs)or a build-up of fluid incertain other parts of the body

Testing for Noonan syndrome during pregnancy involves collecting a sample of your baby's DNA and checking it for any of the faulty genes associated with the condition.

This can be done using either chorionic villus sampling (where a sample of cells is removed from the placenta)or amniocentesis (where a sample of amniotic fluid is removed). Both of these tests carry around a 1% chance of causing a miscarriage .

If your baby is found to have one of the faulty genes, agenetic counsellor will talk to you about what the test resultmeans and what your options are. .

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Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 25 Nov 2016