Léri-Weill syndrome (LWS) or dyschondrosteosis represents a short stature syndrome characterised by the mesomelic shortening of the forearms and lower legs and by bilateral Madelung deformity of the wrists. Recently, mutations in the pseudoautosomal homeobox gene SHOX have been shown to be causative for this disorder. This gene has previously been described as the short stature gene implicated in Turner syndrome (TS). We studied 32 Léri-Weill patients from 18 different German and Dutch families and present clinical, radiological and molecular data. Phenotypic inter- and intrafamilial heterogeneity is a frequent finding in LWS, and phenotypic manifestations are generally more severe in females. In males, muscular hypertrophy is a frequent finding. To test for SHOX mutations we used FISH, Southern blot and SSCP analysis as well as long-range PCR and sequencing. We identified (sub)microscopic deletions encompassing the SHOX gene region in 10 out of 18 families investigated. Deletion sizes varied between 100 kb and 9 Mb and did not correlate with the severity of the phenotype. We did not detect SHOX mutations in almost half (41%) the LWS families studied, which suggests different genetic etiologies.