Congenital contractural arachnodactyly Report of four additional families and review of literature

Maria A.Ramos Arroyo, David D. Weaver, Rodney K. Beals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations


We report here four families with congenital contractural arachnodactyly (CCA) in which a wide range of phenotypic expression is observed. In one family with a large number of affected individuals the condition is mildly expressed. These individuals usually have crumpled ears, camptodactyly with ulnar deviation of the fingers, adducted thumbs, limited elbow and/or knee extension, and hypoplasia of the calf muscles. Arachnodactyly is not a constant feature. No spinal deformities are present and only the proband has clubfoot deformities. With time, affecteds have experienced spontaneous improvement of their contractures and their condition in adulthood has not interfered with a normal lifestyle. Within this family there is little phenotypic variation between affected individuals. Those affected within each of the other families have had varying degrees of severity of the condition. A review of 29 other kindreds described in the literature with congenital contractural arachnodactyly shows that in this condition the most common features are abnormally formed ears, camptodactyly, arachnodactyly, adducted thumbs, limited movement of the elbows and knees, and underdevelopment of the calf muscles. Spontaneous improvement of the contractures with age is reported in 94% of cases. Kyphosis, scoliosis or kyphoscoliosis occurred in 50% and these defects were present in those who where more severely affected with CCA. No ocular problems have been reported in this syndrome, but congenital heart defects occurred in 14.7%. Marfan syndrome is the most important condition to differentiate from congenital contractural arachnodactyly since these two conditions are similar phenotypically. However, in the former there are frequently serious ocular and cardiovascular problems which lead to significant morbidity and/or early death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-581
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1985


  • Beals syndrome
  • Marfan syndrome
  • congenital contractural arachnodactyly
  • contractures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Congenital contractural arachnodactyly Report of four additional families and review of literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this