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Achondrogenesis is a rare type of growth hormone deficiency in which there is a defect in the development of bone and cartilage.


Achondrogenesis is inherited, which means it is passed down through families.

Some types are known to be recessive, meaning both parents carry the defective gene. The chance for a subsequent child to be affected is 25%.


Symptoms may include:

  • Very short trunk, arms, legs, and neck
  • Head appears large in relation to the trunk
  • Small lower jaw
  • Narrow chest

Exams and Tests

X-rays show bone problems associated with the condition.


There is no current therapy. Talk to your health care provider about care decisions.

You may want to seek genetic counseling.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outcome is most often very poor. Many infants with achondrogenesis are

or die shortly after birth because of related to the abnormally small chest.

Possible Complications

This condition is often fatal early in life.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

This condition is often diagnosed on the first exam of an infant.


Backeljauw PF, Dattani MT, Cohen P, et al. Disorders of growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor secretion and action. In: Sperling MA, ed. Pediatric Endocrinology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 10.

Horton WA, Hecht JT. Disorders involving ion transporters. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 697.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 7/10/2015
  • Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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