Dyggve-Melchior-Clausen dysplasia. Morphological and biochemical findings in cartilage growth zones

Acta Paediatr Scand. 1983 Mar;72(2):269-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1983.tb09710.x.


The results of light and electron microscopic examination and of biochemical proteoglycan studies of costochondral and iliac crest biopsies from a recently diagnosed case of Dyggve-Melchior-Clausen dysplasia are reported. At light microscopy of resting cartilage large lacunae containing clusters of five or more chondrocytes were seen in some areas. In the hyaline cartilage there were scattered fibrous foci but no mineralized areas. Electron microscopy revealed chondrocytes containing widened cisternae of rough endoplasmic reticulum and vesicles coated with a smooth single-layered membrane. The content of the cisternae and of the vesicles was amorphous. Throughout the cartilage a considerable proportion of the chondrocytes displayed more or less pronounced necrobiotic changes. The biochemical analysis showed an increased amount of glucosaminoglycans in the cartilage and indicated that the ability of proteoglycan monomers to reaggregate to hyaluronic acid chains was decreased. Our findings support the suggestion that Dyggve-Melchior-Clausen dysplasia is due to a disturbance in proteoglycan metabolism.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cartilage / metabolism
  • Cartilage / pathology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Glycosaminoglycans / analysis
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / pathology
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses / metabolism
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses / pathology*
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism
  • Syndrome


  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Proteoglycans