May 1968

Congenital Brevicollis (Klippel-Feil Syndrome) and Cardiovascular Anomalies

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the Department of Pediatrics, George Washington University School of Medicine (Drs. Perry and Scott), Children's Hospital of the District of Columbia, and National Center for Chronic Disease Control (Dr. Perry), Washington, DC.

Am J Dis Child. 1968;115(5):614-620. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100010616015

CONGENITAL brevicollis probably has been recognized since ancient times. Fused cervical vertebrae have been noted in an Egyptian mummy dating back to 500 bc,1 and in bones of an ancient civilization uncovered in Paucarcancha, Peru.2 The Acephala, a mythical race who supposedly lived in Western Libya, have been described as having heads planted directly on their chests.3 Pictures of the Acephala strongly suggest primitive superstitions associated with a short, immobile neck. Fusion of the atlas to the occiput was first described by Realdus Columbus in 1559 and similar cases were reported by Litre in 1701 and by Morgagni in 1746.1 In 1906, Clarke4 reported congenital brevicollis in an infant. Elliot Smith5 in 1908 reviewed 12 cases gathered from Lower Nubian and ancient Egyptian cemeteries and from the Department of Anatomy of the Cairo Medical School. Indeed, many cases of congenital brevicollis were described before

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