, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp 451-458
Date: 09 Oct 2009

Dyggve–Melchior–Clausen syndrome: clinical, genetic, and radiological study of 15 Egyptian patients from nine unrelated families

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Dyggve–Melchior–Clausen (DMC) syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive type of skeletal dysplasia. It is characterized by the association of progressive spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia (SEMD), microcephaly, mental retardation (MR), and coarse facies. The radiographic appearance of generalized platyspondyly with double-humped end plates and the lace-like appearance of iliac crests are pathognomonic and distinctive of DMC syndrome. The disorder results from mutations in the DYM gene mapped in the 18q12-12.1 chromosomal region.

Materials and methods

In this report, we studied 15 Egyptian cases with DMC syndrome from nine unrelated families. We aimed to emphasize the characteristic clinical and radiological features in order to differentiate the condition from other SEMDs and mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS). Patients were subjected to detailed history taking, three-generation family pedigree analysis, complete physical examination, anthropometric measurements, quantitative estimation, and two-dimensional electrophoresis of glycosaminoglycans in the urine and measurement of α-l-iduronidase and galactose-6-sulfatase enzyme activities to exclude Hurler and Morquio diseases (MPS type I and MPS type IVA), respectively. Other investigations were carried out whenever indicated. All patients were the offspring of consanguineous apparently normal parents. Positive family history and similarly affected sibs were noted, confirming the autosomal recessive inheritance pattern of the syndrome. Short stature, microcephaly, variable degree of MR, and coarse facies were constant features. The frequency of characteristic orthopedic and radiological findings was reported. Orthopedic surgical intervention was carried out for two patients.


The study concluded that DMC syndrome may be more frequent in Egypt than previously thought, especially due to misdiagnosis. Characteristic facial dysmorphism, body habitus, and pathognomonic radiological signs suggest the diagnosis and differentiate it from other types of SEMDs and MPS for proper genetic counseling and management.