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Rothmund-Thomson syndrome

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A rare hereditary oculocutaneous disorder with erythema, marble skin, pigmentation, telangiectasia, congenital cataracts, defective nails and teeth, partial to total alopecia, short stature, and congenital bone defects; skeletal defects may be present in the extremities; in about 25 percent of cases, hypogenitalism. It usually begins in early childhood and is often observed in siblings. Prevalent in females (2:1). Incomplete forms may occur. Only few cases described. Inheritance is autosomal recessive.

In 1868 Rothmund published an account of a familial syndrome of cataracts, depressed nasal bridge and skin hypertrophy in an inbred community in a remote Alpine village. In 1923 and 1936 Matthew Sydney Thomson reported a similar disorder which he designated "poikiloderma congenitale".

There has been controversy as to whether Rothmund’s and Thomson’s are the same, but the conjoined eponym Rothmund-Thomson is now generally accepted, with Thomson’s syndrome regarded as a peculiar variant without cataract and hypogonadism, but with increased UVA light sensibility. Thomson probably did not know of Rothmund’s publication. Rothmund(-Thomson) and Werner's syndrome are frequently linked together.


  • A. von Rothmund, Jun.:
    Über Cataracten in Verbindung mit einer eigenthümlichen Hautdegeneration.
    [Albrecht von Graefes] Archiv für Ophthalmologie, 1868, 14: 159-182.
  • M. S. Thomson:
    A hitherto undescribed familial disease.
    British Journal of Dermatology, Oxford, Supplement; 1923, 35: 455-462.
  • Poikiloderma congenitale.
    British Journal of Dermatology, Oxford, 1936, 48: 221.
  • B. Bloch, H. Stauffer:
    Skin disease of endocrine origin (dyshormonal dermatosis).
    Archives of Dermatology and Syphilology, Chicago, 1929, 19: 22-34.

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