Join for Just $16 A Year
- Discounts on travel and everyday savings
- Subscription to AARP The Magazine
- Free membership for your spouse or partner
Achondrogenesis is a disorder in which bone growth is severely affected. The condition is usually fatal early in life.
The syndrome achondrogenesis results from abnormal bone growth and cartilage formation. It is considered a lethal form of infantile dwarfism. Dwarfism is a condition that leads to extremely short stature. In achondrogenesis, the abnormalities in cartilage formation lead to abnormalities in bone formation. The lethality of the disorder is thought to result from difficulty breathing, probably due to having a very small chest. Achondrogenesis usually results in a stillborn infant or very early fatality. Achondrogenesis can be subdivided into type 1 and type 2. Type 1 can further be subdivided into type 1A and type 1B. Types 1A and 1B are distinguished by microscopic differences in the cartilage and cartilage-forming cells. Cartilage-forming cells (chondrocytes) are abnormal in type 1A, whereas the cartilage matrix itself is abnormal in type 1B.
Previously, health care professionals had recognized achondrogenesis types 3 and 4, but those classifications have been abandoned. Types 3 and 4 are now considered to be slight variations of type 2 achondrogenesis. Types 1A, 1B, and type 2 all have different genetic causes, and that is one factor supporting the current classification.
Synonyms for achondrogenesis include chondrogenesis imperfecta, hypochondrogenesis, lethal neonatal dwarfism, lethal osteochondrodysplasia, and neonatal dwarfism. Achondrogenesis type 1A is also known as Houston-Harris type, achondrogenesis type 1B is also known as Fraccaro type chondrogenesis, and achondrogenesis type 2 is also known as Langer-Saldino type achondrogenesis or type 3 or type 4 achondrogenesis.
As previously mentioned, achondrogenesis is currently divided into three distinct subtypes: type 1A, type 1B, and type 2. It appears that each subtype is caused by mutations in different genes.
The gene for type 1A has not yet been isolated, but it does follow an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance.
Type 1B follows an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance as well, but the gene has been isolated. It is the diastrophic dysplasia sulfate transporter gene (DTDST), which is located on the long arm of chromosome 5 (5q32-q33 specifically). Abnormalities in the DTDST gene result in abnormal sulfation of proteins, which is thought to result in disease.
The severity of mutation determines which disorder the patient will have. The most severe of these disorders is type 1B. Since both type 1A and 1B follow autosomal recessive patterns of inheritance, the chance of parents having another child with the disorder after having the first child is 25% for both disorders.
Similar to achondrogenesis type 1B, achondrogenesis type 2 represents the most severe disorder of a group of disorders resulting from the mutation of a single gene—the collagen type 2 gene (COL2A1), located on the long arm of chromosome 12 (12q13.1-q13.3 specifically). In addition to its important role in development and growth, collagen type 2 plays an important structural role in cartilage and in the ability of cartilage to resist compressive forces. Type 2, however, does not follow an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance. Most of the mutations that cause type 2 are new mutations, meaning they are not passed from parents to children. Also, most of these mutations are considered autosomal dominant. However, some family members of affected children may have the mutant gene without having the disease. This is not a classical pattern of dominance and implies the involvement of other genes in the disease process.
Author Info: Michael V. Zuck PhD, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders Part I, 2002This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your healthcare provider. Please consult a healthcare professional with any health concerns you may have.
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.
Member access to health and insurance products and services at AARPhealthcare.com.
Members can get an instant quote with AARP® Dental Insurance administered by Delta Dental Insurance Company.
Members can save on eyewear with AARP® Vision Discounts provided by EyeMed.
Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.