Pfeiffer syndrome: Options to consider

Pfeiffer syndrome is really a rare genetic condition that triggers the premature fusing from the skull, leading to an abnormal shaping from the face and mind. Additionally, it affects both your hands and ft.

The reason for Pfeiffer syndrome is really a mutation from the genes accountable for prenatal bone development. This mutation accelerates bone development, resulting in the skull to fuse prematurely. You will find three subtypes of Pfeiffer syndrome, with types 2 and three to be the most unfortunate.

Treatment begins at birth once a precise diagnosis is created. No treatments can reverse Pfeiffer syndrome, but treatment can manage specific signs and symptoms of the condition.

Fast details on Pfeiffer syndrome:

  • Based on American Journal of Medical Genetics, Pfeiffer syndrome affects about one in 120,000 births.
  • Pfeiffer syndrome is caused by a hereditary autosomal dominant gene mutation or perhaps a new gene mutation.
  • You will find three subtypes of Pfeiffer syndrome, indexed by severity.
  • Surgery is the central management of Pfeiffer syndrome.

What’s Pfeiffer syndrome?

Person cradling babies head in their hands.
Like a baby develops within the womb, the skull bones fuse together. In Pfeiffer syndrome, these bones fuse too soon.

Typically, children’s skull bones will come together once the mind has arrived at its full-sized. However in the situation of Pfeiffer syndrome, the plates pull together too early, and also the skull cannot expand over time using the growing brain, which in turn causes abnormal face and mind shaping.

Babies born with Pfeiffer syndrome might also have bulging eyes, high foreheads, beaked noses, and sunken mid-faces. Their fingers and toes may be webbed, or short and wide.

Causes and risks

Autosomal genetic disorders only need just one copy of the atypical gene to result in the disorder. The atypical gene might be inherited in one parent, or it may derive from a brand new gene mutation within the child.

Most people with Pfeiffer syndrome develop it from the new mutation because neither parent includes a gene mutation that may be handed down. Based on the National Craniofacial Association, a parent or gaurdian with Pfeiffer syndrome includes a 50 % possibility of passing the problem onto the youngster.

Subtypes of Pfeiffer syndrome

You will find 3 subtypes of Pfeiffer syndrome:

Type 1

Type 1 Pfeiffer syndrome is characterised by premature fusion from the skull, finger and foot abnormalities, and sunken cheekbones. Children’s nerve development and intellectual ability are often on the componen along with other children.

Individuals with type 1 Pfeiffer syndrome might have fluid buildup within the brain and hearing problems. Because type 1 is really a more mild type of Pfeiffer syndrome, people with this type from the disease have normal lifespans, provided the problem is effectively treated.

Type 2

Doctor and nurse discussing x-rays and MRI scans of brain and skull on tablet.
You will find three kinds of Pfeiffer’s syndrome. Diagnosis is generally made using imaging techniques for example MRI scans or X-sun rays.

Based on a study within the Orphanet Journal of Rare Illnesses, individuals with type 2 Pfeiffer syndrome have cloverleaf-formed skulls, caused by the unnecessary fusion from the skull bones. 

Could also be:

  • abnormal eye protrusions, which might affect vision
  • fused elbow joints
  • fused knee joints
  • finger abnormalities
  • foot abnormalities
  • developmental delays
  • nerve complications

Type 2 causes severe nerve deficits, includes a poor prognosis and frequently leads to early dying.

Type 3

Type 3 Pfeiffer syndrome causes exactly the same types of disabilities as type 2, aside from the cloverleaf skull. The outlook for those who have type 3 Pfeiffer syndrome can also be frequently poor and may lead to early dying.

Signs and symptoms

Additionally to physical abnormalities, including skull fusion, fused elbow and knee joints, and finger and foot disabilities, Pfeiffer syndrome might also make the following signs and symptoms:

  • bulging or wide-set eyes
  • high brow
  • beaked nose
  • underdevelopment or overdevelopment from the jaws
  • dental issues
  • hearing problems
  • issues with brain development along with other nerve deficits in types 2 and three
  • developmental delays in types 2 and three

Signs and symptoms vary among individuals.


An analysis of Pfeiffer syndrome is created using imaging studies along with a physical exam to verify the existence of premature bone fusions within the skull, fused elbow and knee joints, and finger and foot abnormalities. 

Other genetic conditions might need to be eliminated, and doctors will often execute molecular dna testing to verify gene mutations.

Do you know the treatments?

Surgeons performing surgery in operating theatre.
Surgical treatment is usually needed to deal with Pfeiffer syndrome. Several surgical treatments might need to be performed during infancy.

Kids with Pfeiffer syndrome frequently endure multiple complex surgeries to correct skull and joint deformities. 

Surgery to produce the prematurely fused skull is carried out inside the child’s newbie of existence to advertise the standard brain and skull growth. 

Surgeons may also repair the youngsters eye sockets simultaneously to preserve their vision. Other face structure surgery, such as the cheekbones and jaws, and surgery around the child’s webbed hands and ft, are transported out once the child is older.

Some children will require treatments to handle their difficulty in breathing, which might involve:

  • Surgery to produce blockages from the mid-face.
  • Surgery to get rid of tonsils or adenoids (glands found in the roof from the mouth that safeguard against infection).
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy involving using a special mask during sleep.
  • A tracheostomy is transported in severe cases. A tracheostomy is really a surgical opening with the front from the neck and in to the trachea (windpipe).

Some children may require dental try to repair teeth and underbites. Others may require speech and language therapies.

Takeaway and outlook

Individuals with type 1 Pfeiffer syndrome might have normal lifespans, provided they don’t are afflicted by disease complications and undergo effective treatment.

Individuals with types 2 and three have severe types of this issue and generally have shorter existence expectancies because of respiratory system problems and nerve complications.

Effective treatments have a tendency to center around surgery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *