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Abstract

Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a rare, uniformly fatal, premature aging disease with distinct dermatologic features. We sought to identify and describe the initial skin and hair findings as potential diagnostic signs of the disease. We performed a chart review of the structured initial intake histories of 39 individuals with HGPS enrolled in clinical trials from 2007 to 2010 at Boston Children's Hospital, limited to cutaneous history from birth to 24 months. Medical photographs were provided through the clinical trials and the Progeria Research Foundation Medical and Research Database at Brown University Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research. All 39 patients reported skin and hair abnormalities within the first 24 months of life. Pathologies included sclerodermoid change, prominent superficial veins, dyspigmentation, and alopecia. The mean age of presentation for each finding was <12 months. The most frequently reported skin feature was sclerodermoid change, which commonly involved the abdomen and bilateral lower extremities. Prominent superficial vasculature manifested as circumoral cyanosis and pronounced veins on the scalp and body. Hypo- and hyperpigmentation were observed over areas of sclerodermoid change. Scalp alopecia progressed in a distinct pattern, with preservation of the hair over the midscalp and vertex areas for the longest period of time. HGPS has distinct cutaneous manifestations during the first 2 years of life that may be the first signs of disease. Awareness of these findings could expedite diagnosis.