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October 1965

Werner's Syndrome Progeria of the Adult

Author Affiliations


From the Medical Service, Dermatology Section, Veterans Administration Hospital, Long Beach.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(4):499-504. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870040013004

THE Introduction  THE SIGHT OF a young or middle aged person of very short stature with a wizened face, completely grey hair, and thick glasses suggesting previous cataract surgery is most certainly uncommon. In 1904 Otto Werner 1 described four patients with these progeric features and since then approximately 115 more persons with similar striking features have been recognized, thus justifying the eponym "Werner's syndrome."The spectrum of adult progeria is extensive (Table) with signs first becoming evident between 15 and 30 years of age. The short stature and striking facial changes are constant,2 uniting the small congregation of people with Werner's syndrome with a common mien. Scalp hair turns grey or is lost and the eyebrows become sparse. The subcutaneous fat overlying bony prominences and cartilage is poorly developed so that the epidermis tightly encases the ears, nose, malar ridges, and the forehead. Fine radial lines form around

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