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Medicine (Baltimore). 1999 Jan;78(1):9-25.

X-linked recessive spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia tarda. Clinical and radiographic evolution in a 6-generation kindred and review of the literature.

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  • 1Metabolic Research Unit, Shriners Hospital for Children, St Louis, MO 63131-3597, USA.


We characterize the clinical and radiographic evolution of X-linked recessive spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia tarda (SEDT) in a 6-generation kindred from Arkansas (SEDT(AK)). Our observations show the natural progression of SEDT(AK) and enable carrier detection by radiographic study. We find that, SEDT(AK) manifests as a postnatal defect. Affected hemizygous males can have radiographically normal vertebrae at birth. The pathogenesis seems to involve a developmental disturbance in endochondral bone formation that is reflected most dramatically in vertebrae by a radiographically inapparent ring apophysis. This defect leads to distinctive malformation of the anterior margins of the lumbar vertebrae during childhood. Subsequently, there is degeneration of intervertebral discs and destruction of spinal facet joints. In the femur, the head, neck, and distal condyles are abnormally shaped and become distorted so that osteoarthritis of the hip is not uncommon. Obligate carrier females heterozygous for the SEDT(AK) gene defect demonstrate several similar but more subtle skeletal abnormalities beginning in early adult life. These women seem to be troubled frequently by arthralgia by middle age. The cumulative findings in SEDT(AK) implicate a defect in a gene at Xp22.2-22.1 that engenders a relatively mild disturbance in endochondral bone formation, especially in the axial skeleton. Accounts of large, well-characterized SEDT kindreds remain essential to appreciate fully any interfamily variability of disease expression and to understand better the pathogenesis of the SEDT defect on the X chromosome.

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