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Am J Med Genet A. 2004 May 1;126A(4):403-12.

Does autosomal dominant pseudoxanthoma elasticum exist?

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The Netherlands Ophthalmic Research Institute, KNAW, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a progressive disorder of elastic fibers in skin, eyes, and arterial walls. It is caused by mutations in the ABCC6 gene. Most patients are sporadic cases. The majority of familial cases show autosomal recessive (AR) inheritance, but autosomal dominant (AD) inheritance has also been reported. We reviewed the literature on AD PXE and we studied in detail, both clinically and by DNA studies, a selection of potentially AD pedigrees from our patient population consisting of 59 probands and their family members. Individuals were considered to have definite PXE if they had two of the following three criteria: characteristic ophthalmologic signs, characteristic dermatologic signs, and a positive skin biopsy. In the literature we found only three families with definite PXE in two successive generations and no families with definite PXE in three or more generations. Our own data set comprised three putative AD families. Extensive DNA studies revealed a mutation in only one ABCC6 allele in the patients of these families. Only one of our families showed definite PXE in two generations. Linkage studies revealed that pseudodominance was unlikely in this family. In the other two families AD PXE could not be confirmed after extensive clinical examinations and application of our criteria, since definite PXE was not present in two or more generations.


the inheritance pattern in PXE usually is AR. Part of the phenotype in family members of PXE patients might be due to expression in heterozygous carriers of an AR disease. AD inheritance in PXE may exist, but is both after careful literature study and in our patient material much rarer than previously thought.

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