Disease: Loeys-Dietz Syndrome

    Loeys-Dietz syndrome facts

    • Loeys-Dietz syndrome is a recently-described connective tissue disorder that predisposes to the development of aortic aneurysms and other connective tissue defects.
    • Loeys-Dietz syndrome is known to be a result of mutations in the TGF-beta-receptor I (TGFBR1) or II (TGFBR2) genes and is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner.
    • Genetic testing is performed to identify the mutation and establish the diagnosis, while imaging studies are required for evaluation of potential aneurysms.
    • Surgery to repair aortic aneurysms is essential for treatment because the aneurysms of Loeys-Dietz syndrome tend to rupture early.

    What is Loeys-Dietz syndrome?

    Loeys-Dietz syndrome is a recently-described connective tissue disorder with features similar to those of Marfan syndrome, and the vascular type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Loeys-Dietz syndrome is primarily characterized by aortic aneurysms (weakened outpouchings of the aorta, the main artery in the body) in children. In Loeys-Dietz syndrome, the aortic aneurysms are prone to rupture at a smaller size than other aneurysms, putting children with Loeys-Dietz at great risk for dying if the aneurysm is not identified and treated early.

    The syndrome is named for pediatric geneticist Harry Dietz, director of the William S. Smilow Center for Marfan Syndrome Research at Johns Hopkins University and his colleague, Bart Loeys, who characterized the genetic and physical markers of the syndrome together with Dr. Dietz.

    What are the signs and symptoms of Loeys-Dietz syndrome?

    Aortic aneurysms and abnormal organization of blood vessels (widespread tortuosity of the arteries in locations other than the aorta) are the hallmarks of Loeys-Dietz syndrome, but many affected children have characteristic physical and facial features that may be the first abnormality to be recognized. Recently, LDS has been subdivided into two types, LDS type I (LDSI) and type II (LDSII), signaling the presence or the absence of cranio-facial involvement, respectively.

    The craniofacial characteristics of Loeys-Dietz syndrome include early fusion of the skull bones (known as craniosynostosis), widely spaced eyes (hypertelorism), and cleft palate or split uvula. In some individuals with Loeys-Dietz syndrome, other physical abnormalities have been noted, including defects at birth in the heart and brain, osteoporosis (weak bones), skin changes (such as translucent skin and/or easy bruising), and defects of the spine or chest. It is important to note that the severity of the visible physical characteristics varies widely among affected individuals, but the danger of rupture of aneurysms remains the same no matter how severe or mild the physical characteristics are.

    In many cases pediatricians may be able to recognize the characteristic facial features of Loeys-Dietz syndrome, and on this basis suggest further evaluation for the presence of aortic aneurysms and vascular irregularities. Other people with the syndrome are recognized when they seek medical assistance for other reasons, such as heart murmurs or a family history of Marfan syndrome or another condition that may cause aortic aneurysms.

    Is Loeys-Dietz syndrome inherited?

    Loeys-Dietz syndrome is inherited, meaning that it is a genetic syndrome that tends to run in families. The mutated abnormal gene that causes Loeys-Dietz syndrome is dominant, and only one parent needs pass the gene to a child in order for the syndrome to develop. (This is in contrast to recessive syndromes in which each parent must pass the gene to a child in order for the syndrome to develop.) A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine in August, 2006, reported that 52 affected families (with a total of 90 affected individuals) had been identified.

    What are the signs and symptoms of Loeys-Dietz syndrome?

    Aortic aneurysms and abnormal organization of blood vessels (widespread tortuosity of the arteries in locations other than the aorta) are the hallmarks of Loeys-Dietz syndrome, but many affected children have characteristic physical and facial features that may be the first abnormality to be recognized. Recently, LDS has been subdivided into two types, LDS type I (LDSI) and type II (LDSII), signaling the presence or the absence of cranio-facial involvement, respectively.

    The craniofacial characteristics of Loeys-Dietz syndrome include early fusion of the skull bones (known as craniosynostosis), widely spaced eyes (hypertelorism), and cleft palate or split uvula. In some individuals with Loeys-Dietz syndrome, other physical abnormalities have been noted, including defects at birth in the heart and brain, osteoporosis (weak bones), skin changes (such as translucent skin and/or easy bruising), and defects of the spine or chest. It is important to note that the severity of the visible physical characteristics varies widely among affected individuals, but the danger of rupture of aneurysms remains the same no matter how severe or mild the physical characteristics are.

    In many cases pediatricians may be able to recognize the characteristic facial features of Loeys-Dietz syndrome, and on this basis suggest further evaluation for the presence of aortic aneurysms and vascular irregularities. Other people with the syndrome are recognized when they seek medical assistance for other reasons, such as heart murmurs or a family history of Marfan syndrome or another condition that may cause aortic aneurysms.

    Is Loeys-Dietz syndrome inherited?

    Loeys-Dietz syndrome is inherited, meaning that it is a genetic syndrome that tends to run in families. The mutated abnormal gene that causes Loeys-Dietz syndrome is dominant, and only one parent needs pass the gene to a child in order for the syndrome to develop. (This is in contrast to recessive syndromes in which each parent must pass the gene to a child in order for the syndrome to develop.) A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine in August, 2006, reported that 52 affected families (with a total of 90 affected individuals) had been identified.

    Source: http://www.rxlist.com

    Aortic aneurysms and abnormal organization of blood vessels (widespread tortuosity of the arteries in locations other than the aorta) are the hallmarks of Loeys-Dietz syndrome, but many affected children have characteristic physical and facial features that may be the first abnormality to be recognized. Recently, LDS has been subdivided into two types, LDS type I (LDSI) and type II (LDSII), signaling the presence or the absence of cranio-facial involvement, respectively.

    The craniofacial characteristics of Loeys-Dietz syndrome include early fusion of the skull bones (known as craniosynostosis), widely spaced eyes (hypertelorism), and cleft palate or split uvula. In some individuals with Loeys-Dietz syndrome, other physical abnormalities have been noted, including defects at birth in the heart and brain, osteoporosis (weak bones), skin changes (such as translucent skin and/or easy bruising), and defects of the spine or chest. It is important to note that the severity of the visible physical characteristics varies widely among affected individuals, but the danger of rupture of aneurysms remains the same no matter how severe or mild the physical characteristics are.

    In many cases pediatricians may be able to recognize the characteristic facial features of Loeys-Dietz syndrome, and on this basis suggest further evaluation for the presence of aortic aneurysms and vascular irregularities. Other people with the syndrome are recognized when they seek medical assistance for other reasons, such as heart murmurs or a family history of Marfan syndrome or another condition that may cause aortic aneurysms.

    Source: http://www.rxlist.com

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