Mulibrey nanism: clinical features and diagnostic criteria

J Med Genet. 2004 Feb;41(2):92-8. doi: 10.1136/jmg.2003.014118.


Mulibrey nanism (MUL) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in the TRIM37 gene encoding the peroxisomal TRIM37 protein of unknown function. In this work, we analysed the clinical characteristics of 85 Finnish patients with MUL, most of whom were homozygous for the Finn major mutation of TRIM37. The patients' hospital records from birth to the time of the diagnosis at age 0.02-52 years (median 2.1 years) were retrospectively analysed. All except four of the patients (95%) had a prenatal onset growth failure without postnatal catch up growth. The mean length standard deviation score (SDS) was -3.1 and -4.0 at birth and at diagnosis, respectively. In infancy, feeding difficulties, and respiratory tract infections were the most common problems. Congestive heart failure and pericardial constriction were diagnosed during infancy in 12% and 6% of the patients, respectively. At the time of the diagnosis, characteristic craniofacial features of scaphocephaly, facial triangularity, high and broad forehead, and low nasal bridge were evident in over 90% of the patients. In addition, practically all patients were gracile and had thin extremities. Other findings included a peculiar high-pitched voice (96%), yellowish dots in ocular fundi (79%), cutaneous naevi flammei (65%), hepatomegaly (45%), and fibrous dysplasia of long bones (25%). Mild muscular hypotonicity (68%) was the only neurological abnormality. The clinical features of the Finnish patients with MUL formed a distinct entity. The most consistent findings were growth failure and characteristic craniofacial features. However, organ manifestations varied considerably in early childhood. Based on these findings, we propose new diagnostic criteria for MUL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / blood
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnostic imaging
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / blood
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / diagnostic imaging
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / genetics
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Dwarfism / blood
  • Dwarfism / diagnosis*
  • Dwarfism / diagnostic imaging
  • Dwarfism / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leg Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Leg Bones / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Pregnancy
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tripartite Motif Proteins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Tripartite Motif Proteins
  • TRIM37 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases

Associated data

  • OMIM/253250