New form of idiopathic osteolysis: nodulosis, arthropathy and osteolysis (NAO) syndrome

Am J Med Genet. 2000 Jul 3;93(1):5-10. doi: 10.1002/1096-8628(20000703)93:1<5::aid-ajmg2>;2-y.


We describe 10 patients (6 females and 4 males) from 6 unrelated families with an autosomal recessive disease characterized by simultaneous presentation of nodulosis, arthropathy and osteolysis. They were followed up regularly at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Saudi Arabia for clinical evaluation, serial blood work-up, and evaluating radiological changes. Nodulosis and arthropathy were the clinical criteria for inclusion in this study, and the ten patients fulfilled these criteria. All patients had nodulosis and distal arthropathy. Eight patients (80%) presented with deformed hands and four (40%) with painful hands. All patients had parents who were first cousins and three families had more than one affected child, the finding suggesting autosomal recessive inheritance. Osteopenia and undertubulation of bones distally more than proximally, and upper limbs affected more often than lower limbs, were found in all patients. Osteolysis was seen in carpal and tarsal bones. Other common findings were sclerotic cranial sutures, brachycephaly, and broad medial clavicles. This novel phenotype should be considered in the differential diagnosis of chronic arthritis. Familial arthropathies are more often seen in communities where interfamilial marriage is common. Such a collection of patients is ideal for homozygosity mapping of the disease locus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Consanguinity
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Joint Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Diseases / pathology*
  • Male
  • Osteolysis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteolysis / pathology*
  • Radiography
  • Rheumatoid Nodule / diagnostic imaging
  • Rheumatoid Nodule / pathology*
  • Syndrome