Joint hypermobility syndrome (a.k.a. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility Type): an updated critique

G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2013 Feb;148(1):13-36.


Joint hypermobility syndrome, alternatively termed Ehlers-Danlos syndrome hypermobility type (JHS/EDS-HT), is likely the most common, though the least recognized heritable connective tissue disorder. While its leading clinical features typically affect joints, recent evidence indicates a wider spectrum of satellite symptoms/dysfunctions, involving practically all major systems and organs. Accordingly, clinical research on JHS/EDS-HT is moving from rheumatology and clinical genetics to other disciplines, including neurology, clinical psychology, ophthalmology, cardiology and gynecology/obstetrics. As the skin is one of the most commonly affected and, surely, the easiest to assess body part in heritable connective tissue disorders, it is expected that also the dermatologist should be trained to recognize this condition. In this review, JHS/EDS-HT is presented and discussed in separate sections dedicated to all major aspects of diagnosis, differential diagnosis, clinical features, natural history and principles of management. Particular attention is posed on the role of epidermal, dermal and mucosal assessment in JHS/EDS-HT is order to rise the attention to a series of too neglected, though quite common manifestations of this condition. Management principles are presented with a multidisciplinary approach in mind, covering pharmacologic, physical and occupational therapy, surgical, and nutriceutical aspects, as well as general lifestyle recommendations. Connections with organs and systems other than joints and skin are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome* / therapy
  • Humans

Supplementary concepts

  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type 3