Murk Jansen Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia

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Murk Jansen Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia: A Comprehensive Guide


Murk Jansen metaphyseal chondrodysplasia (MJMC) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by abnormal development of the cartilage in the growth plates (metaphyses) of long bones. This condition, first described by Murk Jansen in 1934, affects approximately 1 in 500,000 individuals worldwide. It is primarily caused by mutations in genes involved in cartilage and bone development.


MJMC is most commonly caused by mutations in the COL2A1 gene, which encodes the alpha-1 chain of type II collagen. Type II collagen is a major component of cartilage, providing structural integrity and flexibility. Mutations in this gene disrupt collagen synthesis, leading to abnormal cartilage formation in the growth plates.

Other genes linked to MJMC include COL11A1, CHST3, and TRPV4, which are involved in the regulation of cartilage development, sulfation, and calcium transport, respectively.


MJMC is typically inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. This means that if one parent carries a mutated gene, each child has a 50% chance of inheriting the mutation and developing the condition. However, in approximately 25% of cases, MJMC occurs spontaneously due to new (de novo) mutations.


The symptoms of MJMC can vary in severity, depending on the specific gene mutation involved. Common features include:

  • Short stature: Impaired growth plate function leads to shorter-than-average height, typically in the range of 4-5 feet.
  • Disproportionate limbs: The upper arms and legs may be shorter in proportion to the forearms and lower legs.
  • Joint pain and stiffness: Abnormal cartilage formation can cause joint pain and stiffness, particularly in the knees, ankles, and wrists.
  • Deformed joints: The irregular development of cartilage can lead to joint deformities, including genu valgum (knock knees) and coxa vara (abnormal hip angles).
  • Skeletal abnormalities: Other skeletal abnormalities may include scoliosis (curvature of the spine), lordosis (excessive inward curvature of the spine), and pectus excavatum (sunken chest).
  • Respiratory problems: Restrictive lung disease may occur due to the compression of the chest cavity by the deformed ribs.
  • Hearing loss: Middle ear effusion and other hearing impairments have been reported in some individuals with MJMC.
  • Eye problems: Myopia (nearsightedness) and cataracts can be associated with MJMC.


Diagnosis of MJMC involves a combination of clinical evaluation, genetic testing, and imaging studies.

  • Clinical evaluation: A physical examination can reveal the characteristic physical features of MJMC, such as short stature, disproportionate limbs, and joint deformities.
  • Genetic testing: Molecular genetic testing can identify mutations in the COL2A1 or other associated genes, confirming the diagnosis.
  • Imaging studies: X-rays and MRI scans can show the characteristic metaphyseal dysplasia, where the growth plates appear wide and irregular with cupping and flaring.


There is no cure for MJMC, but a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals can help manage the condition and improve the quality of life for affected individuals. Treatment strategies may include:

  • Medical management: Pain medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and physical therapy can help alleviate joint pain and stiffness.
  • Orthopedic surgery: Surgical interventions may be necessary to correct joint deformities, improve range of motion, or address spinal curvature.
  • Respiratory support: For individuals with restrictive lung disease, respiratory therapy and assistive devices such as oxygen may be required.
  • Hearing rehabilitation: Hearing aids or cochlear implants can improve hearing loss.
  • Social and emotional support: Living with a chronic condition can be emotionally challenging. Individuals with MJMC may benefit from support groups, counseling, and other social services.


The prognosis for MJMC varies depending on the severity of the condition. Most individuals with MJMC are able to live full and productive lives with appropriate management. However, some may have more significant disabilities, including severe joint pain, impaired mobility, and respiratory complications. Regular monitoring and follow-up with healthcare providers are essential for early intervention and optimal outcomes.


Ongoing research is focused on understanding the molecular basis of MJMC, developing new therapies to target the underlying genetic defects, and improving the overall care and management of individuals with this condition.


Murk Jansen metaphyseal chondrodysplasia is a rare genetic disorder that affects cartilage development and growth plate function. It can cause a range of symptoms, including short stature, disproportionate limbs, joint pain, and skeletal abnormalities. Diagnosis involves clinical evaluation, genetic testing, and imaging studies. Management strategies include medical management, orthopedic surgery, and respiratory support, as needed. Ongoing research aims to improve the understanding and treatment of this condition. With appropriate care and support, individuals with MJMC can live full and active lives.

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