Winchester syndrome is a genetic disorder inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. It involves the lysis of bones in the hands and feet, as well as additional skeletal abnormalities. The disease is closely associated with other osteolytic disorders.
Winchester syndrome (WS) is a part of an inheritable group of disorders called osteolysis syndromes. It is known to primarily affect the hands and feet, before involving the rest of the skeleton, and is carried in an autosomal recessive pattern. Two other disorders share a similar pathological pattern: Torg syndrome and nodulosis arthropathy osteolysis (NAO) syndrome. Because these conditions have several common features, they have been considered to be part of the same clinical spectrum. WS and Torg syndrome is referred as one disease by some, and NAO is regarded as a variant of the same. All aforementioned conditions are mediated by mutations in the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2 gene, which leads to reduced activity of matrix metalloproteinases.
The first signs of the disease appear in infancy, and their distribution is symmetrical . The skeletal system is the most affected, as the main feature of WS is marked lysis of the bones in the hands and feet. In addition, skeletal deformities, as well as osteoporosis in other bones, has been reported . Patients may also display coarse facial features, and suffer from visual disturbances due to corneal opacification   .
Other non-skeletal findings include contracture formation, subcutaneous nodules (these appear on the hands), hyperpigmentation, skin thickening, lichenification and banding, abnormally excessive body hair growth (hypertrichosis), myocardial damage, and gum hypertrophy  .
No specific diagnostic tests are available for Winchester syndrome. Biochemical studies that are requested are carried out in order to exclude metabolic and storage diseases such as mucopolysaccharidosis and mucolipidosis, as well as autoimmune disorders, particularly rheumatoid arthritis  .
As the primary pathological processes taking place are bone destruction and resorption, radiography is the chief investigation in cases of WS because it allows visualization of varying degrees of bone and joint pathology, which are in direct proportion to the duration of the illness. These appear on film as osteolytic lesions affecting carpal, metacarpal and phalangeal bones (and corresponding bones in the feet), as well as widespread reduced bone density. Further characteristic features include metaphyseal and epiphyseal abnormalities of the long bones and medullary cavity expansion. One of the overall results of the skeletal damage described is ankylosis.
Histological analysis of biopsy samples from skin lesions further consolidates the diagnosis. Basic histological images show elevated melanin and inflammatory cell levels in the deeper layers of the skin. Electron microscopy reveals fibroblast changes in form of abnormal mitochondria and various cell organelles.