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  IN THIS Article
 ::  Abstract
 ::  Introduction
 ::  Case report
 ::  Discussion
 ::  Acknowledgement
 ::  References
 ::  Article Figures

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Year : 1979  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 109-111

Apert's syndrome-a type of acrocephalosyndactyly - a case report

Department of Paediatrics, K.E.M. Hospital and Seth G.S. Medical College, Parel, Bombay-400 012, India

Correspondence Address:
D V Punwani
Department of Paediatrics, K.E.M. Hospital and Seth G.S. Medical College, Parel, Bombay-400 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 501671

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 :: Abstract 

A case of acrocephalosyndactyly diagnosed at birth is report­ed for its rarity. The typical features are described and the mode of inheritance discussed.

How to cite this article:
Punwani D V, Purohit V, Irani SF, Kumta N B. Apert's syndrome-a type of acrocephalosyndactyly - a case report . J Postgrad Med 1979;25:109-11

How to cite this URL:
Punwani D V, Purohit V, Irani SF, Kumta N B. Apert's syndrome-a type of acrocephalosyndactyly - a case report . J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1979 [cited 2023 May 28];25:109-11. Available from:

 :: Introduction Top

Acrocephalosyndactyly is a rare deve­lopmental deformity characteristically affecting the head, hands and feet. Apert [1] in 1906 reported nine cases and since then his name has been associated with acrocephalosyndactyly. By 1974, about 207 cases had been reported in the world literature. [6] A few cases have also been reported from different parts of India. [5],[6],[7],[8],[10] Considering the general paucity of cases of acrocephalosyndactyly in the Indian literature, a case is present­ed and the literature reviewed.

 :: Case report Top

M.C.S. was the fourth in the family, born to non-consanguinous parents after a normal 1abour. The mother's age was 28 years and the father was 35 years old. The patient was the product of a full term uneventful pregnancy with no known exposure to infection, drugs or irradiation. No similar malformations were known in either parent's family. Both parents and their other children were examined and found to be normal, clinically and radiologically.

The child weighed 3.2, kg. at birth, with a length of 52 cm. The upper segment measured 29 cm. The skull circumference was 31.5 cm. and the chest circumference 32 cm. The facial ap­pearance was peculiar due to lateral displace­ment of both medial canthi and associated epi­canthic folds, with prominent downthrust eyes and a flat nasal bridge (See [Figure 1] on page 108B). The palate was high arched with a cleft in its posterior third. There was a flexion deformity of the elbows and knees with symmetrical deformity of both hands, which were short and stubby, and showed complete syndactyly of all the fingers with a short displaced thumb and a synonychia of the index, middle and ring fingers. The palmar aspect was spoon shaped. The feet showed a varus deformity with syndactyly of all toes See [Figure 2] on page 108B). There was a dimple in the sacral region. The other systems revealed no abnormality.

Roentgenographic examination of the bony skeleton revealed an acrocephaly with fusion of the metacarpals at their proximal ends and the terminal phalanges at their distal ends.

 :: Discussion Top

A deformity of the osseous system is the most conspicuous feature of the syn­drome of acrocephalosyndactyly. It is re­cognisable at birth and characteristically affects the head and extremities. [2] The major manifestations include premature closure of the cranial sutures, and syn­dactyly affecting the hands and feet.

In the reported cases, the age incidence varies from 4 months to 9 years although the oldest patient reported has been 27 years of age. [3] In our case however, the deformities were noticed at birth.

Due to closure of the coronal sutures, the calvarium is lengthened vertically and shortened in the antero-posterior dimension, resulting in a flattened occiput and a prominent frontal area. There is hypertelorism with an antimongoloid slant and bulging of the eyes secondary to the shallow orbits. Facial dysostosis consisting of hypoplasia of the maxillae, a prominent mandible, high arched nar­row palate, crowded teeth, an open mouth secondary to nasal obstruction, and occasionally a cleft palate are pre­sent.

The syndactyly is marked and resem­bles a `mitten hand' or `sock foot'. There is usually a complete fusion of the distal soft tissues, and occasionally of the bones. The thumbs and big toes may or may not be involved in the fusion. Other less fre­quent skeletal anomalies may be present.

Some mental impairment is present in almost every case, but its true incidence is not known. Most cases show no visceral abnormality. Various classifica­tions of acrocephalosyndactyly-Vogt's, Moht's, Waardenburg's and Pfeiffer's ­depend upon the type and degree of syn­dactyly present . [4] Syndactyly is one of the distinguishing features between Apert's and Crouzon's syndrome. Al­though most published cases have been sporadic in occurrence, there are suffi­cient family data to make a genetic origin for the condition probable [2] An auto­somal dominant type of inheritance may be encountered, when acrocephalosyn­dactyly can be attributed to a single gene in heterozygous form. Sporadic cases are due to new mutations in the germ cells of either parent. There is marked parental age effect among sporadic cases, probably solely due to an increase in the father's age. [2]

Because of the generalized changes and the increasing deformities with age, it is felt that acrocephalosyndactyly is not a particularly good descriptive term for this disease, and in its place `progressive synosteosis with syndactyly' is more in­clusive since the acrocephaly is for the most part explained by premature syno­steosis. [9]

 :: Acknowledgement Top

We thank Dr. C. K. Deshpande, Dean, K.E.M. Hospital for permission to publish this article.

 :: References Top

1.Apert, M. E.: De 1'acrocephalosyndactylie. Bull, et. mem, Soc. med. hop. Paris, 23: 1310-1330, 1906.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Blank, C. E.: Apert's syndrome (a type of acrocephalosyndactyly): Observations on a British series of 39 cases. Ann. Human Genet., 24: 151-164, 1960.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Cooper, H.: Acrocephalosyndactyly with report of a case. Brit.. J. Radiol., 26: 533-538, 1953.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Forfar, J. O. and Arneil, G. C.: "Text Book of Paediatrics", 1st Edition. Chur­chill-Livingstone, Edinburgh and London, 1973, p. 1508-1510.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Kalra, S. K., Sarkar, P. K., Bajpayee, C. P., Rao, K. S. and Likhari, R. S.: Apert's Syndrome. Indian Paediat., 14: 153-155, 1977.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Panda, K. and Kar, a.: Apert's Syndrome with genital malformation. J. Ind. Med. Assoc., 63: 224-227, 1974.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Purohit, N. N., Purohit, Meera and Garg. 0. P.: Apert's syndrome-report of a case. Ind. J. Paediat., 44: 284-286, 1977.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.8. Saxena, S., Sharma, J. and Saxena, 0.: Acrocephalosyndactyly (Apert's syn­drome)-Report of a case. Ind. J. Paediat., 35: 487-489, 1968.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Schauerte, E. W. and St. Aubin, P. M.: Progressive synosteosis in Apert's syn­drome (Acroccphalosyndactyly)-with a description of roentgenographic changes in the feet. Amer. J. Roentgenol., 97: 67-73, 1966.  Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Verma, K. C., Sordan, V. M. and Amla, T. R.: Apert's syndrome-a case report. Indian Paediat., 12: 1186-1188, 1975.  Back to cited text no. 10    


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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