The musculoskeletal manifestations of epidermolysis bullosa: an analysis of 19 cases with a review of the literature

Br J Radiol. 1992 Jun;65(774):480-4. doi: 10.1259/0007-1285-65-774-480.


Epidermolysis bullosa encompasses a group of rare disorders characterized by marked skin fragility and blister formation. In patients with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, skeletal and soft-tissue abnormalities are an important feature. An analysis of the musculoskeletal manifestations in 19 patients is presented. In the hands and feet, features included generalized osteoporosis, wedge-shaped thinning and hooking of distal phalanges, overconstricted bones, acro-osteolysis, flexion contractures, metatarsal and metacarpal subluxation, distal trophic changes, webbing of digits, encasement of the whole extremity in a pouch of skin, soft-tissue calcification and retarded skeletal maturity. Previously undescribed findings in the hands and feet are bony ankylosis of the proximal interphalangeal joints, resorption of the metatarsal and metacarpal heads, shortened metatarsal bones, carpal and tarsal fusion and destruction, and cystic changes of the distal radius and ulna. In the remainder of the skeleton, hip dysplasia with premature osteoarthritis, knee joint bony ankylosis and thoracic and thoraco-lumbar scoliosis are other undescribed findings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Diseases / etiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Dystrophica / complications*
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Dystrophica / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Foot* / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscular Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology*
  • Radiography