[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
May 1938

ARACHNODACTYLY AND ITS MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS

Author Affiliations

BALTIMORE

From the Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1938;61(5):693-703. doi:10.1001/archinte.1938.00180100003001

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.

Abstract

Although there are at present in the neighborhood of two hundred reported cases of arachnodactyly, the syndrome is little known to the members of the American medical profession. Most of the literature is in French or German, and in this country few but ophthalmologists are familiar with the condition. Since arachnodactyly should interest orthopedists, pediatricians and physicians in general, as well as ophthalmologists, we wish to summarize its characteristics and report two cases with particular reference to the medical complications.

Described first, in 1896, by Marfan1 as "pattes d'araignée" or "dolichosténomélie," the condition acquired the more familiar name arachnodactyly (spider fingers) from Achard2 in 1902. The first case recognized in America was described by Piper and Irvine-Jones,3 in 1926. Comprehensive articles on arachnodactyly have been published by Young,4 Ormond,5 Weve,6 and Burch.7 The syndrome is familial and congenital, with the following major characteristics:

  1. Abnormally long gracile

References
1.
Marfan, A. B.:  Un cas de déformation congénitale des quatre membres, plus prononcée aux extrémités, caractérisée par l'allongement des os avec un certain degré d'amincissement , Bull, et mém. Soc. méd. d. hôp. de Paris 13:220-226 ( (Feb. 28) ) 1896.
2.
Achard, C.:  Arachnodactylie , Bull, et mém. Soc. méd. d. hôp. de Paris 19:834-840 ( (Oct. 10) ) 1902.
3.
Piper, R. K., and Irvine-Jones, E.:  Arachnodactylia and Its Association with Congenital Heart Disease , Am. J. Dis. Child. 31:832-839 ( (June) ) 1926.Article
4.
Young, M. L.:  Arachnodactyly , Arch. Dis. Childhood 4:190-214 ( (Aug.) ) 1929.Article
5.
Ormond, A. W.:  The Etiology of Arachnodactyly, with Special Reference to Ocular Symptoms , Guy's Hosp. Rep. 80:68-81 ( (Jan.) ) 1930.
6.
Weve, H.:  Ueber Arachnodaktylie , Arch. f. Augenh. 104:1-46 ( (May) ) 1931.
7.
Burch, F. E.:  Association of Ectopia Lentis with Arachnodactyly , Arch. Ophth. 15:645-679 ( (April) ) 1936.Article
8.
François, cited by Delord, E., and Viallefont, H.:  Luxation héréditaire du cristallin et syndrome de Marfan , Bull. Soc. d'opht. de Paris , (January) 1936, pp. 44-55.
9.
Passow, A.:  Analogie und Koordination von Symptomen der Arachnodaktylie und des Status dysraphicus , Klin. Monatsbl. f. Augenh. 94:102-103 ( (Jan.) ) 1935.
10.
Salle, V.:  Ueber einem Fall von angeborener abnormer Grösse der Extremitáten , Jahrb. f. Kinderh. 75:540-550, 1912.
11.
Börger, F.:  Ueber zwei Fälle von Arachnodaktylie , Ztschr. f. Kinderh. 12:161-184, 1915.Article
12.
Dr. Rambar has given us permission to include this case in our series.
13.
Roesler, H.:  Interatrial Septal Defect , Arch. Int. Med. 54:339-380 ( (Sept.) ) 1934.Article
×