- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Rotter-Erb syndrome

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A skeletal dysplasia combining deformities of the bones, joints, and tendons. It is characterised by dwarfism, brachycephaly, brachymetapody, multiple metaphyseal lesions, congenital dislocations and joint laxity, bilateral clubfoot, pterygium colli, vertebral deformities, hypertelorism, cleft palate and depression of the nasal bridge. Prevalent in males. Mentally normal; occasionally, respiratory difficulty at young age. Familial disorder. Both autosomal dominant and recessive forms are recognised. Some writers consider this a doubtful entity.

This disease picture was first described by Werner Erb in his 1947 dissertation. The complete description by Rotter and Erb appeared in 1948, Larsen’s work in 1950. As one writer defines Larsen’s syndrome as a separate entry, this has also been entered as such.


  • B. L. McFarland:
    Congenital dislocation of the knee.
    Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 1929, II: 281-285. BR or US?
  • W. Erb:
    Über eine seltene Systemerkrankung der Stützgewebe. Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Pathogenese der Wirbelbogenspalten.
    Diss med Kiel, 1947.
  • W. Rotter, W. Erb:
    Über eine Systemerkrankung des Mesenchyms mit multiplen Luxationen, angeborener Gelenkschlaffheit und über Wirbelbogenspalten.
    Virchows Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für klinische Medizin, 1948, 316: 233-263.

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