Aarskog syndrome causes changes in the size and shape of certain bones and cartilage in the body. The face, fingers, and toes are most often affected. Aarskog syndrome is an rare genetic disorder.

Causes

Aarskog syndrome is an inherited disorder. It is caused by a gene mutation on the X chromosome. It is passed from mothers to male children. Female children can be affected by a milder form of the disease.

Risk Factors

Those at risk of inheriting Aarskog syndrome are male children of mothers who do not have the disorder, but who carry the gene for it.

Symptoms

The main symptoms of Aarskog syndrome are:

  • Short stature
  • Abnormalities of the head and face, including:
    • Rounded face
    • Wide-set eyes
    • Slightly slanted eyes
    • Drooping eyelids
    • Small nose
    • Front-facing nostrils
    • Underdeveloped mid-portion of the face
    • Wide groove above the upper lip
    • Crease below the lower lip
    • Folding of the top portion of the ear
    • Delayed teeth growth
    • In some cases, cleft lip or palate

Cleft Lip

Cleft lip

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Other symptoms may include:

  • A deformed scrotum
  • Undescended testicles
  • Small, wide hands and feet
  • Short fingers and toes
  • Mild webbing of fingers and toes, or crease in palm of hand
  • Mildly sunken chest
  • Navel that sticks out
  • Hyperextension of the knees
  • Intellectual disabilities

Undescended Testicle

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Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis of Aarskog syndrome is usually based on facial characteristics. It can be confirmed with genetic tests. X-rays of the face and skull can also be used to help make a diagnosis.

Treatment

There is no known cure for Aarskog syndrome. Treatment is limited to surgical procedures to treat conditions caused by the disorder and supportive treatment. Orthodontic treatment is often needed.

Treatment may include:

Surgery

Conditions that may be treated with surgery include:

  • Inguinal hernia
  • Cleft lip or palate
  • Undescended testicles
Orthodontics

In some cases, orthodontic treatment may help certain facial and dental abnormalities.

Supportive Treatment

Supportive treatment generally includes educational assistance to those afflicted with learning difficulties. Parents often need advice and support.

Prevention

There is no known way to prevent Aarskog syndrome. If you have Aarskog syndrome or have a family history of the disorder, you can talk with a genetic counselor when deciding to have children.

Researchers have located abnormalities in the FGD1 gene in people with this syndrome. Genetic testing for mutations in this gene is available.