Definition

Aase syndrome is a rare disorder that involves anemia and certain joint and skeletal deformities.

Alternative Names

Aase-Smith syndrome; Hypoplastic anemia/Triphalangeal thumb syndrome

Causes

Most cases of Aase syndrome occur without a known reason and are not passed down through families (inherited). However, some cases have been shown to be inherited.

This condition is similar to Diamond-Blackfan anemia, and the two conditions should not be separated. A missing piece on chromosome 19 is found in some people with Diamond-Blackfan anemia.

The anemia in Aase syndrome is caused by poor development of the bone marrow, which is where blood cells are formed.

Symptoms

  • Absent or small knuckles
  • Cleft palate
  • Decreased skin creases at finger joints
  • Deformed ears
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Inability to fully extend the joints from birth (contracture deformity)
  • Narrow shoulders
  • Pale skin
  • Triple-jointed thumbs

Exams and Tests

The doctor will perform a physical exam. Tests that may be done include:

  • Bone marrow biopsy
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Echocardiogram
  • X-rays

Treatment

Treatment may involve blood transfusions in the first year of life to treat anemia.

A steroid medication called prednisone has also been used to treat anemia associated with Aase syndrome. However, it should only be used after reviewing the benefits and risks with a doctor who has experience treating anemias.

A bone marrow transplant may be necessary if other treatment fails.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The anemia tends to improve with age.

Possible Complications

Complications related to anemia include:

  • Fatigue
  • Decreased oxygen in the blood
  • Weakness

Heart problems can lead to a variety of complications, depending on the specific defect.

Severe cases of Aase syndrome have been associated with stillbirth or early death.

Prevention

Genetic counseling is recommended if you have a family history of this syndrome and wish to become pregnant.

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