• perinatally lethal osteogenesis imperfecta;
  • genetic heterogeneity;
  • crumpled femora;
  • beaded ribs;
  • radiology;
  • histology;
  • segregation ratio;
  • autosomal recessive


A group of fetuses with a perinatally lethal variety of osteogenesis imperfecta (O.I. type II) is charaterized by short limbs, and clinical and roentgenological evidence of severe osseous fragility and defective ossification. Forty-eight cases were reviewed and can be subdivided into 3 groups on the basis of small but probably significant differences in clinical and radiographic findings. Group A (38 cases): short, broad, “crumpled” long bones, angulation of tibiae and continuously beaded ribs. Group B (6 cases): short, broad, crumpled femora, angulation of tibiae but normal ribs or ribs with incomplete beading. Group C (4 cases): long, thin, inadequately modelled, rectangular long bones with multiple fractures and thin beaded ribs. Consistency of findings within sibships suggests the groups reflect genetic heterogeneity.

An increased frequency of parental consanguinity, sib occurrence with normal parents, and normal mean paternal age at birth, suggest that most cases of O.I. type II represent autosomal recessive traits.

Some previously reported cases and the biochemical findings in one case suggest still further genetic heterogeneity.