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Beals–Hecht syndrome (congenital contractural arachnodactyly) with additional craniospinal abnormality: a case report

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Beals syndrome is an autosomal-dominant connective tissue disorder, characterized by multiple flexion contractures, arachnodactyly, severe kyphoscoliosis, crumpled ear, and muscular hypoplasia. It has similarities to Marfan syndrome (MFS) in many respects. It has much fewer incidences of eye and heart anomalies compared with MFS. Beals syndrome is caused by a mutation in the fibrillin-2 gene (FBN2) in 5q23; MFS is caused by mutations in fibrillin-1. With time, there is spontaneous improvement in joint contractures, but kyphosis tends to be progressive. The neonatal form results from new mutations and tends to be severe. Prenatal molecular diagnosis is possible. Ultrasound could be used to demonstrate hypokinesia and joint contractures in presumptive cases. We present a case of a patient with Beals syndrome who presented to the emergency department with pneumonia and was found to have narrowing of the foramen magnum, with partial fusion of C2–C3 vertebral bodies. To our knowledge, this has not been documented in the literature and could be characteristic in relation to Beals syndrome.
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Keywords: Beals–Hecht syndrome; Marfan syndrome; congenital contractural arachnodactyly; contractures; fibrillin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Maulana Azad Medical College, Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, India

Publication date: May 1, 2015

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