Jeune asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy (ATD) is an autosomal-recessive chondrodysplasia characterized by short ribs and a narrow thorax, short long bones, inconstant polydactyly, and trident acetabular roof. ATD is closely related to the short rib polydactyly syndrome (SRP) type III, which is a more severe condition characterized by early prenatal expression and lethality and variable malformations. We first excluded IFT80 in a series of 26 fetuses and children belonging to 14 families diagnosed with either ATD or SRP type III. Studying a consanguineous family from Morocco, we mapped an ATD gene to chromosome 11q14.3-q23.1 in a 20.4 Mb region and identified homozygous mutations in the cytoplasmic dynein 2 heavy chain 1 (DYNC2H1) gene in the affected children. Compound heterozygosity for DYNC2H1 mutations was also identified in four additional families. Among the five families, 3/5 were diagnosed with ATD and 2/5 included pregnancies terminated for SRP type III. DYNC2H1 is a component of a cytoplasmic dynein complex and is directly involved in the generation and maintenance of cilia. From this study, we conclude that ATD and SRP type III are variants of a single disorder belonging to the ciliopathy group.