Nail Patella Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Nail Patella Syndrome is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Nail-patella syndrome (NPS) is a rare genetic disorder that is usually apparent at birth or during early childhood. Although the symptoms and physical characteristics associated with NPS may vary, characteristic abnormalities tend to include improper development (dysplasia) of the fingernails and toenails; absence (aplasia) and/or underdevelopment (hypoplasia) of the knee caps (patellae); underdevelopment of certain bones and/or webbing of skin at the bend of the elbow(s); and/or abnormal projections of bone from the upper (superior) portion of both sides of the hipbone (bilateral iliac horns).

In addition, some individuals within certain families (kindreds) may have abnormally increased fluid pressure of the eyes (glaucoma). The condition results due to progressive blockage of the outflow of fluid (aqueous humor) from the front chamber of the eyes (open-angle glaucoma). Without appropriate treatment, the gradual increase in fluid pressure may cause increased narrowing of visual fields and eventual blindness. Other eye (ocular) abnormalities may also be associated with NPS. For example, in some affected individuals, the inner margin (pupillary margin) of the colored portion of the eyes (irides) may appear abnormally dark (hyperpigmentation) and "cloverleaf shaped" (Lester iris).

Approximately 30 to 40 percent of individuals with NPS may also develop abnormalities in kidney function (nephropathy) that may be apparent during childhood or later in life. Nail-patella Syndrome is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait.

Supporting Organizations

American Association of Kidney Patients

2701 North Rocky Point Drive, Suite 150
Tampa, FL 33607
Tel: (813)636-8100
Fax: (813)636-8122
Tel: (800)749-2257

American Kidney Fund, Inc.

11921 Rockville Pike
Suite 300
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel: (800)638-8299

European Skeletal Dysplasia Network

Institute of Genetic Medicine
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3BZ
United Kingdom
Tel: 441612755642
Fax: 441612755082

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

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267

NIH/National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse

3 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3580
Fax: (703)738-4929
Tel: (800)891-5390

Nail Patella Syndrome Worldwide

14980 Stream Valley Court
Haymarket, VA 20169
Tel: (703)626-6852

National Kidney Foundation

30 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212)889-2210
Fax: (212)689-9261
Tel: (800)622-9010

Urology Care Foundation

1000 Corporate Blvd
Linthicum, MD 21090
Tel: (410)689-3700
Fax: (410)689-3896
Tel: (800)828-7866

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, 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.

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.

Last Updated:  4/11/2008
Copyright  2003 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.