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Achondroplasia-hypochondroplasia complex and abnormal pulmonary anatomy


  • How to Cite this Article: Bober MB, Taylor M, Heinle R, Mackenzie W. 2012. Achondroplasia-hypochondroplasia complex and abnormal pulmonary anatomy. Am J Med Genet Part A. 158A:2336–2341.


Achondroplasia and hypochondroplasia are two of the most common forms of skeletal dysplasia. They are both caused by activating mutations in FGFR3 and are inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Our patient was born to parents with presumed achondroplasia, and found on prenatal testing to have p.G380R and p.N540K FGFR3 mutations. In addition to having typical problems associated with both achondroplasia and hypochondroplasia, our patient had several atypical findings including: abnormal lobulation of the lungs with respiratory insufficiency, C1 stenosis, and hypoglycemia following a Nissen fundoplication. After his reflux and aspiration were treated, the persistence of the tachypnea and increased respiratory effort indicated this was not the primary source of the respiratory distress. Our subsequent hypothesis was that primary restrictive lung disease was the cause of his respiratory distress. A closer examination of his chest circumference did not support this conclusion either. Following his death, an autopsy found the right lung had 2 lobes while the left lung had 3 lobes. A literature review demonstrates that other children with achondroplasia-hypochondroplasia complex have been described with abnormal pulmonary function and infants with thanatophoric dysplasia have similar abnormal pulmonary anatomy. We hypothesize that there may be a primary pulmonary phenotype associated with FGFR3-opathies, unrelated to chest size which leads to the consistent finding of increased respiratory signs and symptoms in these children. Further observation of respiratory status, combined with the macroscopic and microscopic analysis of pulmonary branching anatomy and alveolar structure in this patient population will be important to explore this hypothesis. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.