Health Information



Apert Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.


It is possible that the main title of the report Apert Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Acrocephalosyndactyly, Type I
  • ACS I
  • Syndactylic Oxycephaly
  • ACS1

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Apert syndrome, also known as acrocephalosyndactyly type I (ACS1), is a rare genetic disorder that is apparent at birth (congenital). The disorder is character-ized by distinctive malformations of the head that lead to distinctive facial features. In addition, the hands and/or feet may be webbed (syndactyly) and in some cases, mental retardation may also be present.

Among babies born with Apert syndrome, the fibrous joints between bones of the skull (sutures) close prematurely (craniosynostosis). The pressure of continued brain growth distorts various bones of the skull and the face. The skull is forced into one of several characteristic shapes. Often the head appears abnormally pointed at the top (acrocephaly). The distortion of the skull plates create changes in the facial bones leading to characteristic facial abnormalities, such as widely spaced eyes (ocular hypertelorism), abnormal protrusion of the eyes (exophthalmos), underdevelopment of midfacial regions (midface hypoplasia), and/or a narrow roof of the mouth (palate).

Malformations of the hands and feet may include unusually broad thumbs and great toes, short fingers, and/or partial to complete fusion (syndactyly) of certain fingers and toes (digits). Most commonly, there is complete fusion of bones within the second to the fourth fingers and the presence of a single common nail ("mitten-like" syndactyly).

In almost all instances, Apert syndrome results from new genetic changes (mutations) that appear to occur randomly for unknown reasons (sporadically). In rare cases, the disorder may be inherited as an autosomal dominant trait.


Children's Craniofacial Association

13140 Coit Road

Suite 517

Dallas, TX 75240


Tel: (214)570-9099

Fax: (214)570-8811

Tel: (800)535-3643



FACES: The National Craniofacial Association

PO Box 11082

Chattanooga, TN 37401

Tel: (423)266-1632

Fax: (423)267-3124

Tel: (800)332-2373



The Arc

1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200

Washington, DC 20006

Tel: (202)534-3700

Fax: (202)534-3731

Tel: (800)433-5255

TDD: (817)277-0553



Let's Face It

University of Michigan, School of Dentistry / Dentistry Library

1011 N. University

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078


Tel: (360)676-7325




P.O. Box 751112

Limekiln, PA 19535


Tel: (702)769-9264

Fax: (702)341-5351

Tel: (888)486-1209



Apert Syndrome Support Group

8708 Kathy

St. Louis, MO 63126

Tel: (314)965-3356


American Heart Association

7272 Greenville Avenue

Dallas, TX 75231

Tel: (214)784-7212

Fax: (214)784-1307

Tel: (800)242-8721



National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction

333 East 30th Street, Lobby Unit

New York, NY 10016

Tel: (212)263-6656

Fax: (212)263-7534


Craniofacial Clinic at University of Virginia

University of Virginia Medical Center

Dept. of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery

Box 376

Charlottesville, VA 22908

Tel: (434)924-2528



Danish Apert Syndrome Association (Danmarks Apertforening)

Dronningeengen 17

Vedbaek, DK-2950


Tel: 4545890300

Fax: 4545890350


Craniofacial Foundation of America

975 East Third Street

Chattanooga, TN 37403

Tel: (423)778-9176

Fax: (423)778-8172

Tel: (800)418-3223



AboutFace International

123 Edward Street, Suite 1003


Ontario, M5G 1E2


Tel: 4165972229

Fax: 4165978494

Tel: 8006653223



Headlines - Craniofacial Support Group

128 Beesmoor Road

Frampton Cotterell

Bristol, BS36 2JP

United Kingdom

Tel: 01454850557



Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126

Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126

Tel: (301)251-4925

Fax: (301)251-4911

Tel: (888)205-2311

TDD: (888)205-3223


Madisons Foundation

PO Box 241956

Los Angeles, CA 90024

Tel: (310)264-0826

Fax: (310)264-4766



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  9/23/2007

Copyright  1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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