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August 1973

A Syndrome's Progress

Author Affiliations

Children's Medical Center Dayton, Ohio

Am J Dis Child. 1973;126(2):150. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.02110190132003

Syndrome is Greek for "Running together." Expressed succinctly though somewhat slangily: "One case is a FLK (funny looking kid), two cases make a syndrome." Occasionally a unique combination of findings in unrelated individuals permits a keen observer with a well-organized memory to recognize the presence of a new syndrome. More often someone stumbles on such a constellation in several members of a kinship. Such a stroke of good luck enabled this writer and his associates to define a new dwarfing syndrome in three siblings, their mother, grandmother, and possibly other ancestors.1 The first way station of the journey had been reached.

A condition known from only a single family might be called a "private" syndrome, analogous to the "private" blood groups of hematology. But mutations are seldom if ever unique. Sooner or later similar cases turn up elsewhere. With the publication in this issue of two articles on this