When Materials Are at Fault: The Skeletal Collagens, Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Chondrodysplasias

  • Andrea Superti-FurgaEmail author


Prenatal ultrasound done at week 34 in a 29-old primigravida and primipara reveals bowing of several long bones (tibiae, femurs, and humeri) as well as a suspected fracture of the left femur. The woman and her partner are clinically healthy and non-consanguineous. At week 39, a boy is delivered vaginally. The newborn has bowed limbs, a triangular face, and blue sclerae. On palpation, his skull is soft. Tachypnea (rapid breathing) develops and he is given ventilator support for 24 h. He appears to be comfortable when left quiet but seems to have pain upon handling. As his sucking is weak, a gastric tube is inserted for alimentation. Radiographs show generalized osteopenia; the long bones are expanded and show numerous fractures; the skull is very poorly mineralized. A diagnosis of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is made; handling is reduced to a minimum; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug is given for pain control when needed. The baby remains stable and his sucking gains strength, allowing for breastfeeding. He is discharged at age 3 weeks. Over the first months of life, he gains weight but remains intolerant to handling, and his spontaneous movements are very much reduced. His social development seems unaffected, and he follows well with is eyes and develops social smiling.


Osteogenesis imperfecta Chondrodysplasia Type 1 collagen Type 2 collagen 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Genetic MedicineLausanne University Hospital, University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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