Dermatosparaxis Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

What causes dermatosparaxis Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?

Dermatosparaxis EDS (dEDS) is caused by changes (mutations) in the ADAMTS2 _gene. This gene encodes an enzyme that helps process several types of "procollagen molecules" (precursors of collagen). Collagen is a protein that provides structure and strength to connective tissues throughout the body. Mutations in _ADAMTS2 lead to reduced levels of functional enzyme which interferes with the proper processing of procollagens. As a result, networks of collagen are not assembled properly. This weakens connective tissues and causes the many signs and symptoms associated with dEDS.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is dermatosparaxis Ehlers-Danlos syndrome diagnosed?

A diagnosis of dermatosparaxis Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (dEDS) is typically based on the presence of characteristic signs and symptoms. The main clinical features for diagnosis (major and minor criteria) include:

  • Major criteria:

  • Extreme skin fragility with congenital or postnatal skin tears

  • Characteristic craniofacial features, which are evident at birth or early infancy, or evolve later in childhood
  • Redundant, almost lax skin, with excessive skin folds at the wrists and ankles
  • Increased palmar wrinkling
  • Severe bruisability with a risk of subcutaneous hematomas and haemorrhage
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Postnatal growth retardation
  • Short limbs, hand and feet
  • Perinatal complications due to connective tissue fragility

  • Minor criteria

  • Soft and doughy skin texture

  • Skin hyperextensibility
  • Atrophic scars
  • GJH
  • Complications of visceral fragility (e.g., bladder rupture, diaphragmatic rupture, rectal prolapse)
  • Delayed motor development
  • Osteopenia
  • Hirsutism
  • Tooth abnormalities
  • Refractive errors (myopia, astigmatism)
  • Strabismus

  • Minimal criteria suggestive for dEDS:

    • –Major criterion (1): extreme skin fragility
    • –AND major criterion (2): characteristic craniofacial features


* –Either: one other major criterion
* –And/or: three minor criteria

Diagnosis is confirmed by genetic testing showing a change (mutation) in the _ADAMTS2 _gene. When testing is not available a skin biopsy can be ordered to help with the diagnosis but it is not enough to confirm it.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is dermatosparaxis Ehlers-Danlos syndrome inherited?

Dermatosparaxis EDS (dEDS) is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. This means that to be affected, a person must have a mutation in both copies of the responsible gene in each cell. The parents of an affected person usually each carry one mutated copy of the gene and are referred to as carriers. Carriers typically do not show signs or symptoms of the condition. When two carriers of an autosomal recessive condition have children, each child has a 25% (1 in 4) risk to have the condition, a 50% (1 in 2) risk to be a carrier like each of the parents, and a 25% chance to not have the condition and not be a carrier.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might dermatosparaxis Ehlers-Danlos syndrome be treated?

The treatment of dermatosparaxis EDS (dEDS) is focused on preventing serious complications and relieving associated signs and symptoms. For example, physical therapy may be recommended in children with moderate to severe joint hypermobility. Assistive devices such as braces, wheelchairs, or scooters may also be necessary depending on the severity of joint instability. Hernias may be treated with surgery. Because dEDS is associated with extremely fragile skin, affected people, especially children, may need to use protective bandages or pads over exposed areas, such as the knees, shins, and forehead. Heavy exercise and contact sports may also need to be avoided due to skin fragility and easy bruising.

Please speak to your healthcare provider if you have any questions about your personal medical management plan.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: Ehlers-Danlos Society PO Box 87463
Montgomery Village, MD, 20886, United States
Phone: 410-670-7577 Email: Url:
Name: Ehlers-Danlos Support UK PO Box 748
Borehamwood , WD6 9HU, United Kingdom
Phone: 0208 736 5604 Toll Free: 0800 907 8518 (in the UK) Email: Url:
Name: The Zebra Network 1122 Kenilworth Drive Suite 307
Towson, MD, 21204,
Phone: 410-825-0995 Email: Url:
Name: The Ehlers-Danlos Society – Europe Office Office 7 35-37 Ludgate Hill
London, EC4M 7JN, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 203 887 6132 Email: Url:

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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