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Reviewed February 2008
What is Crouzon syndrome?
Crouzon syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by the premature fusion of certain skull bones (craniosynostosis). This early fusion prevents the skull from growing normally and affects the shape of the head and face.
Many features of Crouzon syndrome result from the premature fusion of the skull bones. Abnormal growth of these bones leads to wide-set, bulging eyes and vision problems caused by shallow eye sockets; eyes that do not point in the same direction (strabismus); a beaked nose; and an underdeveloped upper jaw. In addition, people with Crouzon syndrome may have dental problems and hearing loss, which is sometimes accompanied by narrow ear canals. A few people with Crouzon syndrome have an opening in the lip and the roof of the mouth (cleft lip and palate). The severity of these signs and symptoms varies among affected people. People with Crouzon syndrome are usually of normal intelligence.
How common is Crouzon syndrome?
Crouzon syndrome is seen in about 16 per million newborns. It is the most common craniosynostosis syndrome.
What genes are related to Crouzon syndrome?
Mutations in the FGFR2 gene cause Crouzon syndrome. This gene provides instructions for making a protein called fibroblast growth factor receptor 2. Among its multiple functions, this protein signals immature cells to become bone cells during embryonic development. Mutations in the FGFR2 gene probably overstimulate signaling by the FGFR2 protein, which causes the bones of the skull to fuse prematurely.
Read more about the FGFR2 gene.
How do people inherit Crouzon syndrome?
This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder.
In some cases, an affected person inherits the mutation from one affected parent. Other cases result from new mutations in the gene and occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family.
Where can I find information about diagnosis or management of Crouzon syndrome?
These resources address the diagnosis or management of Crouzon syndrome and may include treatment providers.
General information about the diagnosis and management of genetic conditions is available in the Handbook. Read more about genetic testing, particularly the difference between clinical tests and research tests.
To locate a healthcare provider, see How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about Crouzon syndrome?
You may find the following resources about Crouzon syndrome helpful. These materials are written for the general public.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for healthcare professionals and researchers.
What other names do people use for Crouzon syndrome?
What if I still have specific questions about Crouzon syndrome?
Where can I find general information about genetic conditions?
The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.
These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.
What glossary definitions help with understanding Crouzon syndrome?
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (4 links)
The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.