De novo achondroplasia causing four consecutive unsuccessful pregnancies: a case report
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, PMB 5025, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2012, 6:256 doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-256Published: 30 August 2012
The incidence of achondroplasia is very low, and the birth of two or more consecutive babies with achondroplasia to unaffected parents is a rarity. We report a rare case of recurrent achondroplasia in babies of unaffected parents.
A 29-year-old Nigerian Igbo woman who has had three consecutive dead achondroplastic babies presented at a gestational age of 31 weeks with a two-hour history of drainage of liquor and vaginal bleeding. Neither she nor her husband had features of achondroplasia. Fundal height was compatible with the gestational age. Fetal heart activity was present. An abdominal ultrasound examination showed a viable fetus with short long bones, oligohydramnios, and a fundal placenta with a small retroplacental blood clot. Our patient was stabilized and had an emergency Cesarean section for grade 1 abruptio placentae. A live male baby with Apgar scores of 4 at one minute and 5 at 10 minutes was delivered. The baby had classic features of achondroplasia and died shortly after birth.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of recurrent achondroplasia in siblings of unaffected parents in Nigeria. Management is challenging, and the outcomes of future pregnancies appear bleak. However, proper counseling and follow-up are needed. There is also a need to establish preconception clinics and facilities for prenatal genetic diagnosis and gene therapy in developing countries.