American Journal of Medical Genetics vol:113 issue:1 pages:23-28
The etiology of the fetal akinesia deformation sequence (FADS) is heterogeneous and can be the result of neurogenic and myopathic disorders, restrictive dermopathy, teratogen exposure, and intrauterine constraint. We present the prenatal and fetopathological findings in a consecutive series of 30 affected fetuses with normal chromosomal results. According to the in utero time of onset of the fetal akinesia, the severity of the phenotype varied from a severe, generalized FADS in the early-onset group to milder defects, as isolated distal arthrogryposis in the late-onset group. No more than 10% (3/30) were diagnosed in the first trimester of pregnancy and all presented a severe phenotype. Twenty-seven of the thirty (90%) were diagnosed after the first trimester, with a severe FADS in 15/27 and a milder phenotype of distal arthrogryposis in 12/27. In all 30 patients, extensive neuropathological studies (brain, spinal cord, and muscles) were performed. In 16 patients (53%) a specific diagnosis could be made (central nervous system abnormalities 9/16; spinal cord 1/16; primary myopathy 3/16; syndromic 3/16). In 10 others (33%), pathological neuromuscular findings were present but no definitive diagnosis was established. In 4 patients (13%), neuromuscular findings were normal, and the etiology of the FADS remained unexplained.