Get answers to your Osteoporosis, Metabolic Bone & Mineral Disorders questions.
Brittle bone disease
All people with OI have weak bones, which makes them susceptible to fractures. Persons with OI are usually below average height ( short stature). However, the severity of the disease varies greatly.
The classic symptoms include:
Because type I collagen is also found in ligaments, persons with OI often have loose joints (hypermobility) and flat feet. Some types of OI also lead to the development of poor teeth.
Symptoms of more severe forms of OI may include:
OI is usually suspected in children whose bones break with very little force. A physical examination may show that the whites of their eyes have a blue tint.
A definitive diagnosis may be made using a skin punch biopsy. Family members may be given a DNA blood test.
If there is a family history of OI, chorionic villus sampling may be done during pregnancy to determine if the baby has the condition. However, because so many different mutations can cause OI, some forms cannot be diagnosed with a genetic test.
The severe form of type II osteogenesis imperfecta can be seen on ultrasound when the fetus is as young as 16 weeks.
Marini JC. Osteogenesis imperfecta. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 692.
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