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Disease Profile

Acromesomelic dysplasia

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Acromesomelic dwarfism


Musculoskeletal Diseases


Acromesomelic dysplasia describes a group of extremely rare, inherited, progressive skeletal conditions that result in a particular form of short stature, called short-limb dwarfism. The short stature is the result of unusually short forearms and forelegs (mesomelia) and abnormal shortening of the bones in the hands and feet (acromelia). At birth, the hands and feet may appear abnormally short and broad. Over time, the apparent disproportion becomes even more obvious, especially during the first years of life. Additional features may include: limited extension of the elbows and arms; progressive abnormal curvature of the spine; an enlarged head; and a slightly flattened midface. Acromesomelic dysplasia is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.[1]

There are different types of acromesomelic dysplasia, which are distinguished by their genetic cause. To read more about the different types, click on the links below.[1]
Acromesomelic dysplasia, Maroteaux type
Acromesomelic dysplasia, Hunter-Thompson type
Acromesomelic dysplasia, Grebe type


Affected infants often have a normal birth weight. In most cases, in addition to having unusually short, broad hands and feet, affected infants often have characteristic facial abnormalities that are apparent at birth. Such features may include a relatively enlarged head, unusually prominent forehead, pronounced back portion of the head (occipital prominence), a slightly flattened midface, and/or an abnormally small, pug nose.[1]

During the first years of life, as the forearms, lower legs, hands, and feet do not grow proportionally with the rest of the body, short stature (short-limb dwarfism) begins to become apparent. Over time, affected individuals may be unable to fully extend the arms, rotate the arms inward toward the body with the palms facing down, or rotate the arms outward with the palms facing upward. In some cases, affected individuals may also experience progressive degeneration, stiffness, tenderness, and pain of the elbows (osteoarthritis).[1] 

Abnormalities of cartilage and bone development may also cause the bones within the fingers, toes, hands, and feet to become increasingly shorter and broader during the first years of life. During the second year of life, the growing ends of these bones may begin to appear abnormally shaped like a cone or a square and may fuse prematurely. This causes the fingers and toes to appear short and stubby. The hands and feet may seem unusually short, broad, and square; and the feet may appear abnormally flat. In early childhood, extra, loose skin may also develop over the fingers.[1]

During early childhood, affected individuals may also begin to experience progressive, abnormal curvature of the spine. In rare cases, affected individuals can experience delayed puberty and corneal clouding.[1]


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Learn more

    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    Where to Start

    • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

      In-Depth Information

      • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
      • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Acromesomelic dysplasia. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


        1. Acromesomelic dysplasia. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2009; https://rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/1087/viewAbstract. Accessed 6/28/2011.

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