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ISRN Dermatol. 2012;2012:751768. doi: 10.5402/2012/751768. Epub 2012 Nov 22.

Ehlers-danlos syndrome, hypermobility type: an underdiagnosed hereditary connective tissue disorder with mucocutaneous, articular, and systemic manifestations.

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1
Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Molecular Medicine, San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital, Sapienza University, Circonvallazione Gianicolense, 87, 00152 Rome, Italy.

Abstract

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type, constituting a phenotypic continuum with or, perhaps, corresponding to the joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS/EDS-HT), is likely the most common, though the least recognized, heritable connective tissue disorder. Known for decades as a hereditary condition with predominant rheumatologic manifestations, it is now emerging as a multisystemic disorder with widespread manifestations. Nevertheless, the practitioners' awareness of this condition is generally poor and most patients await years or, perhaps, decades before reaching the correct diagnosis. Among the various sites of disease manifestations, skin and mucosae represent a neglected organ where the dermatologist can easily spot diagnostic clues, which consistently integrate joint hypermobility and other orthopedic/neurologic manifestations at physical examination. In this paper, actual knowledge on JHS/EDS-HT is summarized in various sections. Particular attention has been posed on overlooked manifestations, including cutaneous, mucosal, and oropharyngeal features, and early diagnosis techniques, as a major point of interest for the practicing dermatologist. Actual research progresses on JH/EDS-HT envisage an unexpected link between heritable dysfunctions of the connective tissue and a wide range of functional somatic syndromes, most of them commonly diagnosed in the office of various specialists, comprising dermatologists.

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