Open Access Articles- Top Results for Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia

Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia

Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 Q78.8
ICD-9 756.56
OMIM 132400 600204 600969 226900 607078 120210
DiseasesDB 30716
eMedicine article/1259038
NCI Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia
Patient UK Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia
MeSH D010009

Fairbanks disease or multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED) is a rare genetic disorder (dominant form—1 in 10,000 births) which affects the growing ends of bones. Bones usually elongate by a process that involves the depositing of cartilage at the ends of the bones, called ossification. This cartilage then mineralizes and hardens to become bone. In MED, this process is defective.


Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED) encompasses a spectrum of skeletal disorders, most of which are inherited in an autosomal dominant form. However, there is also an autosomal recessive form.

Associated genes include COL9A2, COL9A3, COMP, and MATR3.[1]

Types include:

Type OMIM Gene
EDM1 132400 COMP
EDM2 600204 COL9A2
EDM3 600969 COL9A3
EDM4 226900 DTDST
EDM5 607078 MATN3
EDM6 120210 COL9A1

Signs and Symptoms

Children with autosomal dominant MED experience joint pain and fatigue after exercising. Their x-rays show small and irregular ossifications centers, most apparent in the hips and knees. A waddling gait may develop. Flat feet are very common.[2] The spine is normal but may have a few irregularities, such as scoliosis. There are very small capital femoral epiphyses and hypoplastic, poorly formed acetabular roofs. Knees have metaphyseal widening and irregularity while hands have brachydactyly (short fingers) and proximal metacarpal rounding. By adulthood, people with MED are of short stature or in the low range of normal and have short limbs relative to their trunks. Frequently, movement becomes limited at the major joints, especially at the elbows and hips. However, loose knee and finger joints can occur. Signs of osteoarthritis usually begin in early adulthood.[3]

Children with recessive MED also experience joint pain, particularly of the hips and knees, but also commonly have deformities of the hands, feet, knees, or vertebral column (like scoliosis). Approximately 50% of affected children have abnormal findings at birth (e.g., club foot or twisted metatarsals, cleft palate, inward curving fingers due to underdeveloped bones and brachydactyly, or ear swelling caused by injury during birth). Height is within the normal range prior to puberty. As adults, people with recessive MED are only slightly more diminished in stature but still within the normal range. Lateral knee radiography can show multi-layered patellae.[3]


Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia was described separately by Ribbing and Fairbank in the 1930s.[3]

In 1994, Ralph Oehlmann's group mapped MED to the peri-centromeric region of chromosome 19, using genetic linkage analysis.[4] Michael Briggs' group mapped PSACH to the same area.[5] COMP gene was firstly linked to MED and PSACH in 1995.[6] Later on, in 1995, the group led by Knowlton did a "high-resolution genetic and physical mapping of multiple epiphyseal dysplasia and pseudoachondroplasia mutations at chromosome 19p13.1-p12".[7] Research on COMP led to mouse models of the pathology of MED. In 2002, Svensson's group generated a COMP-null mouse to study the COMP protein in vivo. However, these mice showed no anatomical, histological, or even ultrastructural abnormalities and none of the clinical signs of PSACH or MED. Lack of COMP was not compensated for by any other protein in the thrombospondin family. This study confirmed that the disease is not caused by reduced expression of COMP.[8] In 2007, Piròg-Garcia's group generated another mouse model carrying a mutation previously found in a human patient. With this new model, they were able to demonstrate that reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptosis are significant pathological mechanisms involved in MED and PSACH.[9] In 2010, this mouse model allowed a new insight into myopathy and tendinopathy, which are often associated with PSACH and MED. These patients show increased skeletal muscle stress, as indicated by the increase in myofibers with central nuclei). Myopathy in the mutant mouse results from underlying tendinopathy, because the transmission of forces is altered from the normal state. There is a higher proportion of larger diameter fibrils of collagen but the cross-sectional area of whole mutant tendons was also significantly less than that of the wild-type tendons causing joint laxity and stiffness, easy tiringness and weakness. This study is important because those diseases are often mistaken for neurological problems, since the doctor can detect a muscle weakness. This include a lot of painful and useless clinical neurological examination prior to the correct diagnosis. In this work, the researchers suggest to the pediatric doctor to perform x-rays before starting the neurological assessment, to exclude the dysplasia.[10]

COL91A mutation was discovered in 2001.[1]


In the dominant form, mutations in five genes are causative: COMP (chromosome 19), COL9A1 (chromosome 6), COL9A2 (chromosome 1), COL9A3 (chromosome 20), and MATN3 (chromosome 2). However, in approximately 10%-20% of all samples analyzed, a mutation cannot be identified in any of the five genes above, suggesting that mutations in other as-yet unidentified genes are also involved in the pathogenesis of dominant MED.[11] The COMP gene is mutated in 70% of the molecularly confirmed MED patients. Mutations are located in the exons encoding the type III repeats (exons 8-14) and C-terminal domain (exons 15-19).[12] The most common mutations in COL9A1 are located in exons 8-10, in COL9A2 in exons 2-4, and in COL9A3 in exons 2-4. Altogether, those mutations cover 10% of the patients. Other 20% of affected people have mutations in MATN3 gene, all found within exon 2. In order to this findings, the following testing regime has been recommended by the European Skeletal Dysplasia Network:

  • Level 1: COMP (exons 10-15) and MATN3 (exon 2)
  • Level 2: COMP (exons 8 & 9 and 16-19)
  • Level 3: COL9A1 (exon 8), COL9A2 and COL9A3 (exon 3)

All those genes are involved in the production of the extracellular matrix (ECM). The role of COMP gene still remains unclear. It is a noncollagenous protein of the ECM.[13] Mutations in this gene can also cause the pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH). It should play a role in the structural integrity of cartilage via its interaction with other extracellular matrix proteins and can be part of the interaction of the chondrocytes with the matrix through. It is a potent suppressor of apoptosis in chondrocytes and can suppress apoptosis. Another one of it roles is maintaining a vascular smooth muscle cells contractile under physiological or pathological stimuli[14] Since 2003, the European Skeletal Dysplasia Network has used an on-line system to do diagnose cases referred to the network prior to mutation analysis in order to study the different mutations causing PSACH or MED.[15]

COL9A1, COL9A2, COL9A3 are genes coding for collagen type IX, that is a component of hyaline cartilage. MATN3 protein may play a role in the formation of the extracellular filamentous networks and in the development and homeostasis of cartilage and bone.[16]

In the recessive form, the DTDST gene, also known as SLC26A2, is mutated in almost 90% of the patients, causing diastrophic dysplasia. It is a sulfate transporter, transmembrane glycoprotein implicated in several chondrodysplasias. It is important for sulfation of proteoglycans and matrix organization.[17]


Diagnosis should be based on the clinical and radiographic findings and a genetical analysis can be assessed.[18]


Symptomatic individuals should be seen by an orthopedist in order to assess the possibility of treatment (physiotherapy for muscular strengthening, cautious use of analgesic medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Although there is no cure, surgery is sometimes used to relieve symptoms.[19] Surgery may be necessary to treat malformation of the hip (osteotomy of the pelvis or the collum femoris) and, in some cases, malformation (e.g., genu varum or genu valgum).[20] In some cases, total hip replacement may be necessary. However, surgery is not always necessary or appropriate.[21] Sports involving joint overload are to be avoided, while swimming or cycling are strongly suggested.[22] Indoor cycling has to be avoided in people having ligamentous laxity. Weight control is suggested.[23] The use of crutches, other deambulatory aids or wheelchair is useful to prevent hip pain.[24] Pain in the hand while writing can be avoided using a pen with wide grip.[25]

Prominent people with this condition


  1. ^ a b Czarny-Ratajczak M, Lohiniva J, Rogala P et al. (November 2001). "A mutation in COL9A1 causes multiple epiphyseal dysplasia: further evidence for locus heterogeneity". Am. J. Hum. Genet. 69 (5): 969–80. PMC 1274373. PMID 11565064. doi:10.1086/324023. 
  2. ^ Kozlowski, Giuseppe Canepa, Pierre Maroteaux, Vincenzo Pietrogrande ; histopatological atlas: V. Stanescu, R. Stanescu ; foreword by K.S. (2001). Dysmorphic-syndromes and constitutional diseases of the skeleton : atlas with computer programme for finding symptoms and making diagnoses. Padova: Piccin. ISBN 978-88-299-1502-6. 
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  8. ^ Svensson L, Aszódi A, Heinegård D, Hunziker EB, Reinholt FP, Fässler R et al. (2002). "Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein-deficient mice have normal skeletal development.". Mol Cell Biol 22 (12): 4366–71. PMC 133870. PMID 12024046. doi:10.1128/mcb.22.12.4366-4371.2002. 
  9. ^ Piróg-Garcia KA, Meadows RS, Knowles L, Heinegård D, Thornton DJ, Kadler KE et al. (2007). "Reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptosis are significant pathological mechanisms in a murine model of mild pseudoachondroplasia resulting from a mutation in the C-terminal domain of COMP.". Hum Mol Genet 16 (17): 2072–88. PMC 2674228. PMID 17588960. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddm155. 
  10. ^ Piróg KA, Jaka O, Katakura Y, Meadows RS, Kadler KE, Boot-Handford RP et al. (2010). "A mouse model offers novel insights into the myopathy and tendinopathy often associated with pseudoachondroplasia and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia.". Hum Mol Genet 19 (1): 52–64. PMC 2792148. PMID 19808781. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddp466. 
  11. ^ d Briggs, Michael; Wright, Michael J; Mortier, Geert R (July 25, 2013) [2003]. "Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia, Dominant - GeneReviews® - NCBI Bookshelf". PubMed (University of Washington, Seattle). PMID 20301302. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
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  22. ^ Juergen Maeurer (2006). Imaging strategies for the knee. ISBN 978-3-13-140561-6. ISBN 3-13-140561-9. ISBN 1-58890-449-0. ISBN 978-1-58890-449-2. 
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  27. ^ David Wetherill; Parasport

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