Leri-Weill disease

By Michael W. Matchette, MD; Justin Q. Ly, MD; Douglas P. Beall, MD

Since Turner syndrome is also characterized by a haploinsufficiency due to a structural deformity of the X chromosome, it would therefore seem likely for these patients to commonly present with LWD. However, in the first systematic study of LWD in Turner syndrome, Binder et al3 found that only 1 of 54 (2%) females with known Turner's syndrome had radiographic features consistent with LWD. It is thought that this may be due to an epiphyseal protective effect from estrogen deficiency. In the absence of Turner's syndrome, the diagnosis of LWD may not be made until late childhood or adolescence. Unlike children afflicted with Turner's syndrome, who are characteristically 2 standard deviations below the normal growth curve, patients with LWD may show relatively normal growth with a growth spurt during adolescence. The rate of growth after adolescence, however, can markedly decrease.

The predominant radiologic findings include triangularization of the distal radial epiphysis with shortening of the ulnar segment, dorsal dislocation of the distal ulna that cannot be easily reduced, pyramidalization of the distal carpal row, shortening and bowing of the distal radius, and widening of the distal radioulnar joint. This constellation of findings is known as Madelung's deformity. Moreover, LWD frequently involves shortening of the middle segment of the extremities (mesomelia), leading to a moderate degree of dwarfism.4 Involvement of the lower extremity is common and the presence of body disproportion in an individual with Madelung deformities strongly suggests the diagnosis of LWD.

Differential considerations for this condition include multiple exostosis, enchondromatosis, multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, Turner's syndrome without LWD, achondroplasia, chondroectodermal dysplasia, and hypoparathyroidism.


Leri-Weill disease is a rare inherited disorder characterized by deformity of the wrist, known as Madelung deformity, and mesomelic short stature. Recognition of the described characteristic radiographic findings can aid in the diagnosis of this unusual and radiographically as well as visually striking entity.

  1. Belin V, Cusin, Viot G, et al. SHOX mutations in dyschondrosteosis (Leri-Weill syndrome). Nat Genet.1998;19:67-69.
  2. Shears DJ, Vassal HJ, Goodman FR, et al. Mutation and deletion of the pseudoautosomal gene SHOX cause Leri-Weill dyschondrosteosis. Nat Genet.1998;19:70-73.
  3. Binder G, Fritsch H, Schweizer R, Ranke MB. Radiological signs of Leri-Weill dyschondrosteosis in Turner syndrome. Horm Res.2001;55:71-76.
  4. Langer LO Jr. Dyschondrosteosis: A hereditable bone dysplasia with characteristic roentgenographic features. Am J Roentgenol Radium Ther Nucl Med. 1965;95:178-188.
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Leri-Weill disease.  Appl Radiol. 

July 05, 2005

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