Crisponi syndrome (CS) is a severe disorder characterized by muscular contractions at birth, intermittent hyperthermia, facial abnormalities and camptodactyly. Since the first description of the disease in 1996, it has been described in less than 30 patients from 13 Italian (mainly Sardinian) families. Extensive paroxysmal muscular contractions in the face (resembling neonatal tetanus) develop after minimal stimuli. Frequent contractions of the oropharyngeal muscles associated with absence of the swallowing reflex lead to major feeding and respiratory difficulties. All patients described to date displayed facial anomalies, including a large face, chubby cheeks, a broad nose with anteverted nostrils and long philtrum, and bilateral camptodactyly. Hypertonia is frequent. Early in the neonatal period, CS patients develop continuous hyperthermia (unrelated to infectious agents), dyspnea, spells of apnea, and cyanosis during crying. Abnormal central control of respiration may be present at birth, increasing the risk of sudden death. Febrile episodes disappear after the first year of life, whereas feeding difficulties persist. Paradoxal sweating after exposure to low ambient temperatures has been observed in some adolescents. The disease is transmitted as an autosomal recessive trait. Mutations in the CRLF1 gene are causative. CS belongs to a group of conditions with overlapping features, including cold-induced sweating syndromes and Stüve-Wiedemann syndrome (see these terms). Characteristic hyperthermic crises frequently lead to death within the first months of life. Surviving patients usually develop severe progressive kyphoscoliosis that requires corset therapy or corrective surgery. Marked feeding difficulties require nasogastric tube feeding.
Last update: June 2008