This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Osteopetrosis refers to a group of rare, inherited skeletal disorders characterized by increased bone density and abnormal bone growth. Symptoms and severity can vary greatly, ranging from neonatal onset with life-threatening complications (such as bone marrow failure) to the incidental finding of osteopetrosis on X-ray. Depending on severity and age of onset, features may include fractures, short stature, compressive neuropathies (pressure on the nerves), hypocalcemia with attendant tetanic seizures, and life-threatening pancytopenia. In rare cases, there may be neurological impairment or involvement of other body systems. Osteopetrosis may be caused by mutations in at least 10 genes. Inheritance can be autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, or X-linked recessive with the most severe forms being autosomal recessive. Management depends on the specific symptoms and severity and may include vitamin D supplements, various medications, and/or surgery. Adult osteopetrosis requires no treatment by itself, but complications may require intervention.
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