Williams Syndrome

Can Williams syndrome be inherited?

Most cases of Williams syndrome are not inherited, but occur as random events during the formation of reproductive cells (eggs or sperm) in a parent of an affected individual. These cases occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family.

Williams syndrome is considered an autosomal dominant condition because one copy of the altered chromosome 7 in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. In a small percentage of cases, people with Williams syndrome inherit the chromosomal deletion from a parent with the condition.

What other names do people use for Williams syndrome?

  • Beuren syndrome
  • Elfin Facies Syndrome
  • Elfin facies with hypercalcemia
  • Hypercalcemia-Supravalvar Aortic Stenosis
  • Infantile hypercalcemia
  • Supravalvar aortic stenosis syndrome
  • WBS
  • Williams-Beuren Syndrome
  • WMS
  • WS

Medically reviewed by Edward Spence, MD; American Board of Pediatrics and American Board of Medical Genetics with subspecialties in Clinical Genetics, Clinical Biochemical Genetics, Clinical Molecular Genetics


Genetics Home Reference. "Williams syndrome." U.S. National Library of Medicine. Mar. 2008. <http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/williams-syndrome>.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Children's Health & Parenting Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

  • Williams Syndrome - Symptoms

    Is your child struggling with difficult symptoms of Williams syndrome?

  • Williams Syndrome - Signs

    What signs or symptoms in your child led to a diagnosis of Williams syndrome?


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors