Diastrophic Dysplasia

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Diastrophic Dysplasia is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

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General Discussion

Diastrophic dysplasia, which is also known as disastrophic dwarfism, is a rare disorder that is present at birth (congenital). The range and severity of associated symptoms and physical findings may vary greatly from case to case. However, the disorder is often characterized by short stature and unusually short arms and legs (short-limbed dwarfism); abnormal development of bones (skeletal dysplasia) and joints (joint dysplasia) in many areas of the body; progressive abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis and/or kyphosis); abnormal tissue changes of the outer, visible portions of the ears (pinnae); and/or, in some cases, malformations of the head and facial (craniofacial) area.

In most infants with diastrophic dysplasia, the first bone within the body of each hand (first metacarpals) may be unusually small and "oval shaped," causing the thumbs to deviate away (abduction) from the body ("hitchhiker thumbs"). Other fingers may also be abnormally short (brachydactyly) and joints between certain bones of the fingers (proximal interphalangeal joints) may become fused (symphalangism), causing limited flexion and restricted movement of the finger joints. Affected infants also typically have severe foot deformities (talipes or "clubfeet") due to abnormal deviation and fusion of certain bones within the body of each foot (metatarsals). In addition, many children with the disorder experience limited extension, partial (subluxation) or complete dislocation, and/or permanent flexion and immobilization (contractures) of certain joints.

In most infants with diastrophic dysplasia, there is also incomplete closure of bones of the spinal column (spina bifida occulta) within the neck area and the upper portion of the back (lower cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae). In addition, during the first year of life, some affected children may begin to develop progressive abnormal sideways curvature of the spine (scoliosis). During adolescence, individuals with the disorder may also develop abnormal front-to-back curvature of the spine (kyphosis), particularly affecting vertebrae within the neck area (cervical vertebrae). In severe cases, progressive kyphosis may lead to difficulties breathing (respiratory distress). Some individuals may also be prone to experiencing partial dislocation (subluxation) of joints between the central areas (bodies) of cervical vertebrae, potentially resulting in spinal cord injury. Such injury may cause muscle weakness (paresis) or paralysis and/or life-threatening complications.

In addition, most newborns with diastrophic dysplasia have or develop abnormal fluid-filled sacs (cysts) within the outer, visible portions of the ears (pinnae). Within the first weeks of life, the pinnae become swollen and inflamed and unusually firm, thick, and abnormal in shape. Over time, the abnormal areas of tissue (lesions) may accumulate deposits of calcium salts (calcification) and eventually develop into bone (ossification). Some affected infants may also have abnormalities of the head and facial (craniofacial) area including incomplete closure of the roof of the mouth (cleft palate) and/or abnormal smallness of the jaws (micrognathia). In addition, in some affected infants, abnormalities of supportive connective tissue (cartilage) within the windpipe (trachea), voice box (larynx), and certain air passages in the lungs (bronchi) may result in collapse of these airways, causing life-threatening complications such as respiratory obstruction and difficulties breathing. In some individuals with the disorder, additional symptoms and physical findings may also be present. Diastrophic dysplasia is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.

Supporting Organizations

AmeriFace

PO Box 751112
Las Vegas, NV 89136
USA
Tel: (702)769-9264
Fax: (702)341-5351
Tel: (888)486-1209
Email: info@ameriface.org
Website: http://www.ameriface.org

American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association

1504 East Franklin Street
Suite 102
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-2820
USA
Tel: (919)933-9044
Fax: (919)933-9604
Tel: (800)242-5338
Email: info@cleftline.org
Website: http://www.cleftline.org

European Skeletal Dysplasia Network

Institute of Genetic Medicine
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3BZ
United Kingdom
Tel: 441612755642
Fax: 441612755082
Email: info@esdn.org
Website: http://www.esdn.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Human Growth Foundation

997 Glen Cove Avenue
Suite 5
Glen Head, NY 11545
Tel: (516)671-4041
Fax: (516)671-4055
Tel: (800)451-6434
Email: hgf1@hgfound.org
Website: http://www.hgfound.org/

Little People of America, Inc.

250 El Camino Real Suite 201
Tustin, CA 92780
Tel: (714)368-3689
Fax: (714)368-3367
Tel: (888)572-2001
Email: info@lpaonline.org
Website: http://www.lpaonline.org/

MAGIC Foundation

6645 W. North Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302
Tel: (708)383-0808
Fax: (708)383-0899
Tel: (800)362-4423
Email: mary@magicfoundation.org
Website: http://www.magicfoundation.org

March of Dimes

1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Email: AskUs@marchofdimes.org or preguntas@nacersano.org
Website: http://www.marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
USA
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267
Email: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.niams.nih.gov/

NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

31 Center Dr
Building 31, Room 2A32
Bethesda, MD 20892
Fax: (866)760-5947
Tel: (800)370-2943
Email: NICHDInformationResourceCenter@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/

NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

31 Center Drive, MSC 2320
Communication Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20892-3456
Tel: (301)402-0900
Fax: (301)907-8830
Tel: (800)241-1044
Email: nidcdinfo@nidcd.nih.gov
Website: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov

National Spinal Cord Injury Association

75-20 Astoria Blvd
Jackson Heights, NY 11370
USA
Tel: (718)803-3782
Tel: (800)962-9629
Email: info@spinalcord.org
Website: http://www.spinalcord.org

Prescription Parents

22 Ingersoll Road
P.O. Box 920554
Wellesley, MA 2181
USA
Tel: (617)499-1936
Email: info@prescriptionparents.org
Website: http://www.prescriptionparents.org

Spinal Cord Injury Network International

3911 Princeton Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95405-7013
Tel: (707)577-8796
Fax: (707)577-0605
Tel: (800)548-2673
Email: contact@spinalcordinjury.org
Website: http://www.spinalcordinjury.org

Wide Smiles

P.O. Box 5153
Stockton, CA 95205-0153
USA
Tel: (209)942-2812
Fax: (209)464-1497
Email: josmiles@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.widesmiles2.org/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  9/17/2007
Copyright  2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.