[Respiratory manifestations of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes]

Rev Mal Respir. 2023 Mar;40(3):254-264. doi: 10.1016/j.rmr.2023.01.009. Epub 2023 Feb 4.
[Article in French]


Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) represent a heterogeneous group of heritable connective tissue disorders characterized by the clinical "triad" consisting in joint hypermobility, skin hyperextensibility and tissue fragility. Respiratory manifestations associated with EDS are frequent and variable. They vary mainly according to the type of EDS. In hypermobile and classical EDS, the most frequent non-vascular types, dyspnea is a common symptom. Its etiologies are wide-ranging and can coexist in the same patient: asthma, respiratory muscle weakness, chest wall abnormalities, upper and lower airway collapse. The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in nvEDS is high. Identification of the relevant dyspnea mechanism is essential to providing appropriate therapeutic measures. In vascular EDS (vEDS), the main pulmonary complications are pneumothorax, hemothorax and hemoptysis. As they frequently precede the diagnosis of vEDS by several years, it is imperative to raise the possibility of vEDS in a young patient with spontaneous pneumothorax or hemothorax. The presence of suggestive computed tomography parenchymal abnormalities (emphysema, clusters of calcified nodules, cavitated nodule) can be an aid to diagnosis. Treatment is based on the usual approaches, which must be carried out with caution by an experienced operator fully informed of the diagnosis. Better knowledge of respiratory manifestations of EDS by the pneumological community would improve patient care and pave the way for further research.

Keywords: Dyspnea; Dyspnée; Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; Fonction respiratoire; Pneumothorax; Pulmonary function; Respiration; Respiratory; Syndromes d’Ehlers-Danlos.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome* / complications
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Type IV*
  • Hemothorax / complications
  • Humans
  • Pneumothorax* / diagnosis
  • Pneumothorax* / epidemiology
  • Pneumothorax* / etiology
  • Skin Abnormalities* / complications