Se Habla Español!

What is Toulouse-Lautrec Syndrome, and how does it affect you?

May 14, 2022
Man with broken arm, looking at an a-ray in a doctor's office.

Toulouse-Lautrec syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects roughly one in every 1.7 million persons on the planet. Only 200 cases have been documented.

Toulouse-Lautrec syndrome is named after Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a famous 19th-century French artist who is thought to have suffered from it. Pycnodysostosis is the medical name for the condition (PYCD). PYCD results in brittle bones, as well as facial, hand, and other bodily deformities.

What’s the source of the problem?

PYCD is caused by a mutation on chromosome 1q21 in the gene for the enzyme cathepsin K (CTSK). Cathepsin K is an important component of bone remodelling. Collagen, a protein that acts as a scaffold to support minerals like calcium and phosphate in bones, is broken down in particular. Toulouse-Lautrec syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation that causes collagen to build up in the bones, making them thick but fragile.

PYCD is a recessive condition that runs in families. For an illness or physical trait to occur, a person must be born with two copies of an aberrant gene. A pair of genes is passed down. Your father and mother each give you one. Both parents are carriers if one of their genes has been altered. For the biological children of two carriers, the following possibilities exist:

A youngster who gets one mutant gene and one unaffected gene is a carrier but not a disease sufferer (50 percent chance).

A child will develop the condition if they inherit the faulty gene from both parents (25 percent chance).

If both parents carry the unaffected gene, a kid will neither be a carrier nor suffer from the disease (25 percent chance).

What symptoms might you expect?

The most common sign of PYCD is brittle, dense bones. However, people with the illness might have a variety of physical characteristics that develop in diverse ways. There are several of them:

irregular fingernails, small fingers, and a high forehead
small toes and a short trunk
aberrant breathing patterns enlarged liver problems with mental processes, albeit intelligence is rarely affected

People with PYCD are at a higher risk of falling and fractures because it is a bone-weakening disease. Reduced mobility is one of the side effects of fractures. Due to the inability to exercise on a regular basis as a result of bone fractures, weight, cardiovascular fitness, and overall health can suffer.

What is the procedure for determining the cause?

The syndrome of Toulouse-Lautrec is frequently diagnosed in children. However, because the disease is so uncommon, making the correct diagnosis can be difficult. The procedure includes a physical examination, a medical history, and laboratory tests. The presence of PYCD or other hereditary disorders can help steer the doctor’s inquiry.

When it comes to PYCD, X-rays can be especially useful. These pictures may reveal bone features that match PYCD symptoms.

A diagnosis can be confirmed through genetic testing. The doctor, on the other hand, must be aware of the CTSK gene in order to test for it. Because it’s a rarely performed genetic test, testing for the gene is done in specialised laboratories.

Options for therapy

In most cases, PYCD is treated by a group of professionals. A paediatrician, an orthopedist (bone specialist), maybe an orthopaedic surgeon, and possibly an endocrinologist who specialises in hormone issues will be part of a child’s healthcare team if he or she has PYCD. (Although PYCD isn’t a hormonal illness, hormonal medications like growth hormone can help with symptoms.)

Adults with PYCD will see a variety of specialists in addition to their main care physician, who will most likely coordinate their care.

Treatment for PYCD must be tailored to your individual symptoms. A dentist, orthodontist, and maybe an oral surgeon would coordinate your dental care if the roof of your mouth narrows to the point where the health of your teeth and bite is compromised. To help with any face issues, a cosmetic surgeon may be consulted.

Throughout your life, you will require the services of an orthopedist and an orthopaedic surgeon. You’ll almost certainly have several bone fractures if you have Toulouse-Lautrec syndrome. Standard breaks can occur as a result of a fall or another injury. Stress fractures are another possibility.

Multiple fractures in the same region, such as the tibia (shinbone), can make diagnosing stress fractures more difficult because the bone contains multiple fracture lines from earlier breaks. A rod may be needed in one or both legs if a person has PYCD or another brittle bone disorder.

Growth hormone therapy may be recommended if the condition is discovered in a youngster. PYCD can cause short stature, however growth hormones administered under the supervision of an endocrinologist can assist.

Enzyme inhibitors, which block the function of enzymes that can impair bone health, are another promising area of research.

The alteration of a gene’s function is another promising area of research. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats is one of the tools available for this (CRISPR). It entails altering a living cell’s genome. CRISPR is a relatively new technology that is being investigated for use in the treatment of a variety of genetic diseases. It is still unclear whether it is a safe and effective treatment for PYCD.

By Dharmendra Verma

Dharmendra Verma, MD finished his residency training in Internal medicine at the University of Texas, Houston along with MD Anderson Cancer Center, where subsequently, he received subspecialty fellowship in Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition.

Related Articles

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.


Submit a Comment

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

Call Us Now Book Appointment