Dermatologic findings of focal dermal hypoplasia (Goltz syndrome)

Alanna F. Bree, Dorothy K. Grange, M. John Hicks, Robert W. Goltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Goltz syndrome, caused by mutations in PORCN, is an X-linked dominant ectodermal dysplasia which is also known as focal dermal hypoplasia. This name is derived from the predominant pathologic skin findings of the syndrome. Nineteen Goltz-affected participants attended a multidisciplinary scientific and clinical conference convened by the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasia which allowed further characterization of the features of this very rare condition. At birth, the affected areas of skin are typically erythematous and fragile. The hallmark cutaneous features, which vary widely due to mosacism and X-inactivation, include the previously described skin changes of asymmetric Blaschko-linear and reticulated atrophy, pigmentary changes, and telangectasias. Lipomatous changes and papillomas as characteristically defined were reported in the majority of patients. A newly recognized skin finding was progressive hyperpigmented freckling that occurred within the hypopigmented areas which were noted to be photosensitive. Many patients also had a pebbly texture to the central face, dorsal hands and feet. Punctate erosions within the atrophic areas and hypohidrosis were also common. Most had patchy alopecia and many had diffusely thin hair. Scanning electron microscopy of the hair shafts revealed abnormalities in the majority of participants with several different features identified, including atrophic hairs with reduced diameters, markedly flattened hairs as noted in cross-sectional views, trichorrhexis nodosa, pili torti, and pili trianguli et canaliculi. Nail changes included V-nicking and longitudinal ridging of the nail plate, in addition to micronychia. Early recognition of the dermatologic features, in addition to the variable but universal limb anomalies, of Goltz syndrome will allow early and accurate diagnosis without the need for extensive diagnostic studies, while also allowing for accurate prognosis and appropriate genetic counseling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Congenital ectodermal defect
  • Ectodermal dysplasia
  • Focal dermal hypoplasia
  • Hair
  • Nails
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Skin


Dive into the research topics of 'Dermatologic findings of focal dermal hypoplasia (Goltz syndrome)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this