Adams-Oliver syndrome is a rare genetic condition that consists of aplasia cutis congenita, skull defects, and limb malformations. Other manifestations may be present as well. The diagnosis is achieved through the personal and family medical history, physical exam, and appropriate tests.
Adams-Oliver syndrome is a genetic disorder defined by aplasia cutis congenita and defects of the skull and limbs  . While the etiology of Adams-Oliver syndrome is unclear , the mode of inheritance may be autosomal dominant (most common), autosomal recessive, or sporadic  . Note that this disease manifests in various degrees of severity .
Aplasia cutis congenita in affected patients is characterized by bald areas on the scalp that are remarkable for scarring and ulcers. The underlying cutaneous vessels may be abnormally dilated and prone to hemorrhage . The scalp lesions heal spontaneously in infancy.
Affected patients may exhibit missing segments in their skull and malformation of their hands, feet, and/or digits . Specifically, some or all bones in affected areas may be hypoplastic or absent. These findings are typically more pronounced in the lower extremities.
Adams-Oliver syndrome may include intracranial features ranging from periventricular calcifications to cortical dysplasia and other severe manifestations  . Additionally, cardiac manifestations such as septal defects and aortic coarctation may be present . Moreover, some patients exhibit renal anomalies, cryptorchidism, cleft palate, abnormal lymphatics, and so forth . A congenital hepatic shunt has been described in the literature  . A developmental delay may also be noticeable .
Scalp lesions may bleed and lead to infection and even meningitis. Also, affected individuals experience physical disabilities as a consequence of deformed extremities. Finally, long-term sequelae from cardiac involvement may result in heart failure and other comorbidities.
Inspection of the scalp allows the clinician to visualize atrophic hairless plaques which are commonly located on the vertex of the head . Also, digits appear to be short and telangiectasias may be observed on the limbs and abdomen .
Entire Body System
The diagnosis is based on the physical exam, a thorough family history, and the appropriate studies.
Skeletal radiography should include evaluation of the skull, hands, and feet . Typically acrania is observed corresponding to sites of scalp lesions . Additionally, other skeletal findings may include a partial or complete absence of bones in limbs and digits  .
Findings on computed tomography (CT) of the head may include features such as periventricular calcifications and abnormalities of the sulci and gyri . Note that a head CT will also identify skull defects.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain may display a hypoplastic corpus callosum , cystic cortical dysplasia , sinus thrombosis , and/or infarcts . Very importantly, an MRI angiogram demonstrates the presence of extrahepatic portosystemic shunts .
Patients with Adams-Oliver syndrome also warrant a cardiac assessment with echocardiography and possibly cardiac catheterization   . Chest studies with radiography and CT scanning with contrast are also performed to evaluate for the presence of arteriovenous malformations (AVM) .
Other indicated imaging modalities include Doppler ultrasonography to evaluate for vasculature malformations , intravenous pyelography, abdominal ultrasound, and pelvic ultrasound . Finally, skin biopsy with special staining could also be useful .
Routine prenatal ultrasonography may detect the range of the above deformities in an affected fetus.
Management and treatment Limb and scalp defects require orthopedic treatment. Management requires a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach. The documents contained in this web site are presented for information purposes only. [orpha.net]
Both treatment modalities proved successful in these cases. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Mortality rates associated with both conservative treatment and with surgical repair are around 20% . [pfond.cmmt.ubc.ca]
DOCK6 mutations were strongly associated with structural brain abnormalities, ocular anomalies, and intellectual disability, thus suggesting that DOCK6-linked disease represents a variant of AOS with a particularly poor prognosis. 2015 WILEY PERIODICALS [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
(Outcomes/Resolutions) The long term prognosis of Adams Oliver Syndrome is not described adequately due to the limited number of cases reported worldwide and limited extended follow-up of affected individuals However, the prognosis depends on the major [dovemed.com]
[…] with a better prognosis and a normal life expectancy. However, when people with AOS have congenital heart defects or severe problems with other organs or systems, the condition can be very severe. Last updated: 3/13/2017 If you need medical [rarediseases.info.nih.gov]
Etiology The etiopathogenesis remains unclear. Genetic counseling Most cases are transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait, but some show autosomal recessive transmission with familial or sporadic occurrence. [orpha.net]
The etiology of this syndrome has remained largely unknown but defective Notch signaling during vascular formation has been suggested. Here we describe a sporadic Japanese newborn case with clinically diagnosed AOS. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Summary Epidemiology The prevalence is unknown. Clinical description The severity of the disorder varies greatly among affected individuals. [orpha.net]
While pulmonary hypertension is usually not associated with AOS, the abnormal endothelial regulation of vascular tone seen in the pulmonary vasculature may enhance current pathophysiologic concepts of vascular abnormalities in AOS. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
The underlying pathophysiologic mechanism is still unknown. References Adams FM, Oliver CP (1945,). "Hereditary deformities in man due to arrested development". J Hered. 36 : 3–7. Check date values in: year ( help ) Whitley CB, Gorlin RJ (1991). [wikidoc.org]
Pathophysiology Many genes have been implicated in the development of AOS. [dermatologyadvisor.com]
Skin grafting is the safest way, preventing hemorrhage and infection, in the operative treatment of aplasia cutis in these babies. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
"Ultimately, this knowledge may lead us to develop better ways of treating children with these kind of abnormalities, and one day we may even be able to prevent them from developing in the first place." [news-medical.net]
Since povidone-iodine dressings could lead to wound desiccation, they should be avoided to prevent fatal complication of bleeding . [pfond.cmmt.ubc.ca]
- Pérez-García C, Martín YR, del Hoyo AA, Rodríguez CM, Domínguez MC. Adams-Oliver Syndrome with Unusual Central Nervous System Findings and an Extrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt. Pediatric Rep. 2017;9(2):7211.
- Adams FH, Oliver CR. Hereditary deformities in man: due to arrested development. J Hered. 1945;36:3-7.
- McGoey RR, Lacassie Y. Adams-Oliver syndrome in siblings with central nervous system findings, epilepsy, and developmental delay: refining the features of a severe autosomal recessive variant. Am J Med Genet. 2008;146A(4):488–491.
- Koiffmann CP, Wajntal A, Huyke BJ, Castro RM. Congenital scalp skull defects with distal limb anomalies (Adams-Oliver syndrome--McKusick 10030): further suggestion of autosomal recessive inheritance. Am J Med Genet. 1988;29(2):263–268.
- Renfree KJ, Dell PC. Distal limb defects and aplasia cutis: Adams-Oliver syndrome. J Hand Surg Am. 2016;41(7): e207-e210.
- Balasubramanian M, Collins AL. Aplasia cutis congenita, terminal limb defects and periventricular leukomalacia in one sibling with minor findings in the other-probable autosomal recessive Adams-Oliver Syndrome. Eur J Med Genet. 2009;52(4):234-238.
- Gallego C, Miralles M, Marin C, et al. Congenital hepatic shunts. Radiographics. 2004;24(3):755-772.
- Bakry O, Attia A, El Shafey EN. Adams-Oliver Syndrome. A case with isolated aplasia cutis congenita and skeletal defects. J Dermatol Case Rep. 2012;6(1):25-28.
- D'Amico A, Melis D, D'Arco F, et al. Adams Oliver syndrome: Description of a new phenotype with cerebellar abnormalities in a family. Pol J Radiol. 2013; 78(4):83-87.
- Stittrich AB, Lehman A, Bodian DL, et al. Mutations in NOTCH1 cause Adams-Oliver syndrome. Am J Hum Genet 2014;95(3):275-284.