GNAS-associated disorders of cutaneous ossification: two different clinical presentations

Bone. 2010 Mar;46(3):868-72. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2009.11.001. Epub 2009 Nov 10.


Progressive osseous heteroplasia (POH) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by dermal ossification during infancy and progressive ossification into deep connective tissue during childhood. POH is at the severe end of a spectrum of GNAS-associated ossification disorders that include osteoma cutis and Albright Hereditary Osteodystrophy (AHO). Here we describe two girls who have different clinical presentations that reflect the variable expression of GNAS-associated disorders of cutaneous ossification. Each girl had a novel heterozygous inactivating mutation in the GNAS gene. One girl had POH limited to the left arm with severe contractures and growth retardation resulting from progressive heterotopic ossification in the deep connective tissues. The other girl had AHO with widespread, superficial heterotopic ossification but with little functional impairment. While there is presently no treatment or prevention for GNAS-associated ossification disorders, early diagnosis is important for genetic counselling and for prevention of iatrogenic harm.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Chromogranins
  • Female
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / genetics*
  • Gene Silencing
  • Humans
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / diagnosis*
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / genetics*
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / physiopathology
  • Skin / pathology


  • Chromogranins
  • GNAS protein, human
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs