Aarskog syndrome is a rare genetic disorder manifested by retarded growth that occurs by three years of age, facial, musculoskeletal and genital anomalies, and mild intellectual disability.
The disorder occurs in 1 in 1 million individuals in the general population. Some mild cases often go unrecognized.
Causes of Aarskog Syndrome
Aarskog syndrome is transmitted as an X-linked recessive trait.
Aarskog syndrome primarily affects males. However, females who carry a single copy of the disease gene (only one x chromosome is affected) may exhibit some of the symptoms associated with the disorder. The syndrome is caused by mutation in a gene called FGDY1 in band p11.21 on the X chromosome.
Signs & Symptoms of Aarskog Syndrome
The patients of Aarskog syndrome are primarily males who exhibit deformities of face, skeleton, and genitalia. In some cases, female carriers may develop a mild form of the disorder.
Symptoms and severity vary from person to person.
- Rounded face with a broad forehead
- Widely spaced eyes (hypertelorism)
- Drooping of the eyelids (ptosis)
- Downwardly slanting eyelid folds
- Small nose with nostrils that are flared forward (anteverted nares)
- Upper jaw bone is underdeveloped (maxillary hypoplasia)
- Widow’s peak
- Abnormally long groove in the upper lip (philtrum)
- Broad nasal bridge.
- Low-set ears and thickened, fleshy earlobes.
- Delayed eruption of teeth
- Underdevelopment of the hard outer covering of teeth (enamel hypoplasia).
- Disproportionate short stature
- Broad, short hands and feet
- Short, stubby fingers (brachydactyly)
- Clinodactyly – Permanent fixation of the fifth fingers in a bent position
- Hyperextensible finger joints
- Wide flat feet with bulbous toes
- Sunken chest (pectus excavatum)
- Prominent navel (umbilicus).
- Spinal abnormalities ( in about 50% patients)
- Spina bifida occulta
- Cervical vertebrae fusion
- Odontoid hypoplasia
- Shawl Scrotum – An abnormal fold of skin extending around the base of the penis
- Undescended testes or cryptorchidism
- Hypospadias – the urinary opening (meatus) may be located on the underside of the penis (hypospadias)
- The scrotum may appear clefted or divided (bifid scrotum).
- Weight gain failure
- Failure to thrive
- Chronic respiratory infections
- Congenital heart defects
- Extra ribs
- Cleft palate/ lip
- Mild webbing of the fingers
- Short neck with or without webbing
- Strabismus- crossed eyes
- Farsightedness (hypermetropia)
- Paralysis of certain eye muscles (ophthalmoplegia).
Symptoms of the following disorders can be similar to those of Aarskog syndrome. Comparisons may be useful for a differential diagnosis:
- Noonan syndrome
- Robinow syndrome
- LEOPARD Syndrome
Diagnosis of Aaskorg Syndrome
A diagnosis of Aarskog syndrome is made based upon a thorough clinical evaluation, a detailed patient history, and identification of characteristic findings. X-ray studies can identify the distinctive characteristics of Aarskog syndrome and help to differentiate it from similar disorders.
Treatment of Aaskorg Syndrome
The treatment of Aarskog syndrome depends on the symptoms present and requires multispecialty interdisciplinary approach. Following specialties are generally involved in diagnosis and treatment of Asrskog syndrome.
- Dental specialists
- Speech pathologists
- Eye specialists
- Other health care professionals
Apart from symptomatic and supportive treatment, surgery may also be required for deformity correction or addressing the malformation.
Genetic counseling may be of benefit for affected individuals and their families.
Help Resources for Aarskog Syndrome
Children’s Craniofacial Association
13140 Coit Road
Dallas, TX 75240 USA
Phone: (214) 570-9099
Toll-free: (800) 535-3643
Aarskog Syndrome Parents Support Group
62 Robin Hill Lane
Levittown, PA 19055-1411
Phone: (215) 943-7131
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Phone: (301) 251-4925
Toll-free: (888) 205-2311
6645 W. North Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302
Phone: (708) 383-0808
Toll-free: (800) 362-4423
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Phone: (914) 997-4488
NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675 USA
Phone: (301) 495-4484
Toll-free: (877) 226-4267
Aarskog syndrome is also known as
- Aarskog disease
- Aarskog-Scott syndrome
- Faciodigitogenital syndrome
- Faciogenital dysplasia
- Scott Aarskog syndrome
- Shawl scrotum syndrome