Noninvasive Prenatal Diagnosis of Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia by Tooth Germ Sonography

Ultraschall Med. 2015 Aug;36(4):381-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1384933. Epub 2014 Aug 20.


Purpose: Hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, a potentially life-threatening heritable disorder, may be recognized already in utero by characteristic features such as oligodontia and mandibular hypoplasia. As therapeutic options and prognosis depend on the time point of diagnosis, early recognition was attempted during routine prenatal ultrasound examinations.

Subjects and methods: Fetuses of nine pregnant women (one triplet and eight singleton pregnancies) with family histories of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia were investigated by sonography between the 20th and 24th week of gestation.

Results: In 4 male and 2 female fetuses reduced amounts of tooth germs were detected, whereas 5 fetal subjects showed the normal amount. Three-dimensional ultrasound evaluation revealed mandibular hypoplasia in 5 of the 6 fetuses with oligodontia. Molecular genetic analysis and/or clinical findings after birth confirmed the prenatal sonographic diagnosis in each subject.

Conclusion: In subjects with a family history of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, the diagnosis of this rare condition can be established noninvasively by sonography in the second trimester of pregnancy. Early recognition of the disorder may help to prevent dangerous hyperthermic episodes in infancy and may allow timely therapeutic interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anodontia / diagnostic imaging
  • Anodontia / embryology
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Ectodermal Dysplasia 1, Anhidrotic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ectodermal Dysplasia 1, Anhidrotic / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mandible / diagnostic imaging
  • Mandible / embryology
  • Micrognathism / diagnostic imaging
  • Micrognathism / embryology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Prognosis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tooth Germ / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*