Adult hypophosphatasia without apparent skeletal disease: "odontohypophosphatasia" in four heterozygote members of a family

Klin Wochenschr. 1984 Apr 16;62(8):371-6. doi: 10.1007/BF01716257.


Twenty members of a family with adult hypophosphatasia were examined clinically and biochemically. Severe caries causing early loss of permanent teeth was the only clinical symptom which could be attributed to hypophosphatasia. None of them had a history of defective bone mineralization, rachitic skeletal alterations, and recurrent pseudofractures or fractures. An iliac crest bone biopsy of the proposita showed a normal finding corresponding to the age of the patient. Four family members in two subsequent generations were affected, thus suggesting an autosomal dominant inheritance. Their serum and leukocyte alkaline phosphatases were reduced. The phosphoethanolamine (PEA) excretion in the urine was increased to a level which suggests a heterozygote state. The serum alkaline phosphatase activity could be ascribed to the liver isoenzyme fraction. This was shown by polyacrylamide electrophoresis, by inhibition studies with organ-specific inhibitors, heat inactivation, inhibition by antibodies, and treatment with neuraminidase. The proposita had an unexplained, diffuse fatty infiltration of the liver. Thus, not only alterations of bone but also of liver metabolism in hypophosphatasia should be considered. The variety of adult hypophosphatasia described in this paper is characterized by the lack of severe bone abnormalities, the apparently autosomal dominant inheritance, and the reduction of bone and intestinal isoenzyme in the serum. Our study suggests that hypophosphatasia is a heterogeneous disorder which includes both severe and clinically mild forms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Biopsy
  • Dental Caries / chemically induced
  • Ethanolamines / blood
  • Female
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Hypophosphatasia / genetics*
  • Ilium / pathology
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree
  • Tooth Diseases / genetics*


  • Ethanolamines
  • Isoenzymes
  • phosphorylethanolamine
  • Alkaline Phosphatase