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What is campomelic dysplasia?
Campomelic dysplasia is a severe disorder that affects the development of the skeleton and reproductive system. This condition is often life-threatening in the newborn period. The term "campomelic" comes from the Greek words for "bent limb." Affected individuals are typically born with bowing of the long bones in the legs, and they are occasionally born with bowing in the arms. Bowing can cause characteristic skin dimples to form over the curved bone, especially on the lower legs. People with campomelic dysplasia also usually have short legs, dislocated hips, underdeveloped shoulder blades, 11 pairs of ribs instead of 12, bone abnormalities in the neck, and feet that are abnormally rotated (clubfeet). When affected individuals have features of this disorder but do not have bowed limbs, they are said to have acampomelic campomelic dysplasia.
Many people with campomelic dysplasia have external genitalia that do not look clearly male or clearly female (ambiguous genitalia). Approximately 75 percent of affected individuals with a typical male chromosome pattern (46,XY) have ambiguous genitalia or normal female genitalia. Internal reproductive organs may not correspond with the external genitalia; they can be male (testes), female (ovaries), or a combination of the two.
Affected individuals have distinctive facial features, including a small chin, prominent eyes, and a flat face. They also have a large head compared to their body size. A particular group of physical features, called Pierre-Robin sequence, is common in people with campomelic dysplasia. Pierre-Robin sequence includes an opening in the roof of the mouth (a cleft palate), a tongue that is placed further back than normal (glossoptosis), and a small lower jaw (micrognathia). People with campomelic dysplasia are often born with weakened cartilage that forms the upper respiratory tract. This abnormality, called laryngotracheomalacia, partially blocks the airway and causes difficulty breathing. Laryngotracheomalacia contributes to the poor survival of infants with campomelic dysplasia.
Only a few people with campomelic dysplasia survive past infancy. As these individuals age, they may develop an abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis) and other spine abnormalities that compress the spinal cord. People with campomelic dysplasia may also have short stature and hearing loss.
How common is campomelic dysplasia?
The prevalence of campomelic dysplasia is uncertain; estimates range from 1 in 40,000 to 200,000 births.
What genes are related to campomelic dysplasia?
Mutations in or near the SOX9 gene cause campomelic dysplasia. This gene provides instructions for making a protein that plays a critical role in the formation of many different tissues and organs during embryonic development. The SOX9 protein regulates the activity of other genes, especially those that are important for development of the skeleton and reproductive organs.
Most cases of campomelic dysplasia are caused by mutations within the SOX9 gene. These mutations prevent the production of the SOX9 protein or result in a protein with impaired function. About 5 percent of cases are caused by chromosome abnormalities that occur around the SOX9 gene. These chromosome abnormalities disrupt regions of DNA that normally regulate the activity of the SOX9 gene. All of these genetic changes prevent the SOX9 protein from properly controlling the genes essential for normal development of the skeleton, reproductive system, and other parts of the body. Abnormal development of these structures causes the signs and symptoms of campomelic dysplasia.
How do people inherit campomelic dysplasia?
Campomelic dysplasia is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. Most cases result from new mutations in or near the SOX9 gene and occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family. Rarely, affected individuals inherit a chromosome abnormality from a parent who may or may not show mild signs and symptoms of campomelic dysplasia.
What other names do people use for campomelic dysplasia?
- Campomelic dwarfism
- Campomelic syndrome
- Camptomelic dysplasia
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Genetics Home Reference. "Campomelic dysplasia." U.S. National Library of Medicine. 16 Jan. 2012. <http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/campomelic-dysplasia>.
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Top Campomelic Dysplasia Related Articles
Campomelic DysplasiaCampomelic dysplasia is a rare inherited condition that may be life threatening. The condition affects the skeleton and reproductive system.
Cleft Palate and Cleft LipCleft palate and cleft lip are facial and oral defects that occur early in pregnancy. A cleft lip is a split of the two sides of the upper lip, and a cleft palate is a split in the roof of the mouth. Cleft lip the fourth most common birth defect in the U.S. Repair of a cleft palate or cleft lip may require multiple surgeries.
Genetic CounselingYour health care provider may refer you to a genetic professional. Universities and medical centers also often have affiliated genetic professionals, or can provide referrals to a genetic professional or genetics clinic. Genetic counseling provides patients and family members the tools to make the right choice in regard to test for a disease or condition.
Genetic DiseaseThe definition of a genetic disease is a disorder or condition caused by abnormalities in a person's genome. Some types of genetic inheritance include single inheritance, including cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Marfan syndrome, and hemochromatosis. Other types of genetic diseases include multifactorial inheritance. Still other types of genetic diseases include chromosome abnormalities (for example, Turner syndrome, and Klinefelter syndrome), and mitochondrial inheritance (for example, epilepsy and dementia).
ScoliosisScoliosis causes an abnormal curvature of the spine. When the cause of scoliosis is unknown the disorder is described based on the age when the scoliosis develops (infantile, juvenile, or adolescent idiopathic scoliosis). In functional scoliosis, curvature develops due to a problem somewhere else in the body. With neuromuscular scoliosis, there is a problem when the bones of the spine are formed. Treatment typically involves observation, bracing, and surgery and is dependent upon the severity of the curvature.