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Am J Med Genet. 2001 Nov 1;103(4):295-301.

Limb/pelvis hypoplasia/aplasia with skull defect (Schinzel phocomelia): distinctive features and prenatal detection.

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Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.


Schinzel phocomelia syndrome is characterized by limb/pelvis hypoplasia/aplasia: specifically, intercalary limb deficiencies and absent or hypoplastic pelvic bones. The phenotype is similar to that described in a related multiple malformation syndrome known as Al-Awadi/Raas-Rothschild syndrome. The additional important feature of large parietooccipital skull defects without meningocele, encephalocele, or other brain malformation has thus far been reported only in children with Schinzel phocomelia syndrome. We recently evaluated a boy affected with Schinzel phocomelia born to nonconsanguineous healthy parents of Mexican origin. A third-trimester fetal ultrasound scan showed severe limb deficiencies and an absent pelvis. The infant died shortly after birth. Dysmorphology examination, radiographs, and autopsy revealed quadrilateral intercalary limb deficiencies with preaxial toe polydactyly; an absent pelvis and a 7 x 3-cm skull defect; and extraskeletal anomalies including microtia, telecanthus, micropenis with cryptorchidism, renal cysts, stenosis of the colon, and a cleft alveolar ridge. A normal 46,XY karyotype was demonstrated, and autosomal recessive inheritance was presumed on the basis of previously reported families. This case report emphasizes the importance of recognizing severe pelvic and skull deficiencies (either post- or prenatally) in differentiating infants with Schinzel phocomelia from other multiple malformation syndromes that feature intercalary limb defects, including thalidomide embryopathy and Roberts-SC phocomelia.

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