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    Ellis-van Creveld syndrome

    Chondroectodermal dysplasia; EVC

    Ellis-van Creveld syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects bone growth.


    Ellis-van Creveld is passed down through families (inherited). It is caused by defects in one of two Ellis van Creveld syndrome genes (EVC and EVC2) that are next to each other.

    The severity of the disease varies from person to person. The highest rate of the condition is seen among the Old Order Amish population of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It is fairly rare in the general population.


    • Cleft lip or palate
    • Epispadias or undescended testicle (cryptorchidism)
    • Extra fingers (polydactyly)
    • Limited range of motion
    • Nail problems, including missing or deformed nails
    • Short arms and legs, especially forearm and lower leg
    • Short height (between 3 1/2 and 5 feet tall)
    • Sparse, absent, or fine textured hair
    • Tooth abnormalities:
      • Peg teeth
      • Widely spaced teeth
      • Teeth present at birth (natal teeth)
      • Delayed or missing teeth

    Exams and Tests

    Signs of this condition include:

    • Growth hormone deficiency
    • Heart defects, such as a hole in the heart (atrial septal defect) occur in about half of all cases

    Tests include:

    • Chest x-ray
    • Echocardiogram
    • Genetic testing may be available for mutations in the EVC gene
    • Skeletal x-ray
    • Ultrasound
    • Urinalysis


    Treatment depends on which body system is affected and the severity of the problem. The condition itself is not treatable, but many of the complications can be treated.

    Support Groups

    Many communities have Ellis-van Creveld support groups. Ask your health care provider or local hospital if there is one in your area.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    Many babies with this condition die in early infancy, usually due to a small chest or heart defect. Stillbirth is common.

    The outcome depends on which body system is involved and to what extent that body system is involved. Like most genetic conditions involving bones or the physical structure, intelligence is normal.

    Possible Complications

    • Bone abnormalities
    • Breathing difficulty
    • Congenital heart disease (CHD) especially atrial septal defect (ASD)
    • Kidney disease

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call your health care provider if your child has symptoms of this syndrome. If you have a family history of Ellis-van Creveld syndrome and your child has any symptoms, visit your health care provider.

    Genetic counseling can help families understand the condition and how to care for the patient.


    Genetic counseling is recommended for prospective parents from a high-risk group, or who have a family history of Ellis-van Creveld syndrome.


    • Polydactyly - an infant'...


    • Chromosomes and DNA


      • Polydactyly - an infant'...


      • Chromosomes and DNA


      A Closer Look

        Self Care

          Tests for Ellis-van Creveld syndrome

            Review Date: 8/4/2011

            Reviewed By: Chad Haldeman-Englert, MD, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Section on Medical Genetics, Winston-Salem, NC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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            St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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