Medscape is available in 5 Language Editions – Choose your Edition here.


Genetics of Nail-Patella Syndrome Follow-up

  • Author: Julie Hoover-Fong, MD, PhD, FACMG; Chief Editor: Maria Descartes, MD  more...
Updated: Mar 24, 2016

Further Outpatient Care

See the list below:

  • Annual renal function screening with urinalysis, blood testing for BUN and creatinine levels, and blood pressure assessment is indicated.
  • Annual ophthalmological evaluation is indicated for detection of glaucoma.
  • Orthopedic consultations are indicated as needed.

Further Inpatient Care

See the list below:

  • Admit patients with nail-patella syndrome (NPS) for testing and renal transplantation if end-stage renal disease is progressive.
  • If the patient has severe joint problems, surgery such as joint replacement or patellar realignment may be required.

Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

See the list below:

  • ACE inhibitors should be used to treat proteinuria and/or hypertension in nail-patella syndrome. Consultation with a nephrologist may permit implementation of prophylactic treatment with ACE inhibitor medication prior to overt proteinuria or hypertension.
  • Prednisone, vitamin D replacement, and thiazides are appropriate to manage nephrotic syndrome and end-stage renal failure (ESRF).


See the list below:

  • Transfer may be required for further evaluation and renal transplantation.


See the list below:

  • Glaucoma
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • ESRF


See the list below:

  • Approximately 30-55% of patients with nail-patella syndrome develop nephropathy, which may lead to ESRF in about 5% of patients.
  • Prognosis after renal transplantation is good.

Patient Education

See the list below:

  • Genetic counseling is recommended because the risk of having affected offspring is 50%. Prenatal diagnosis using molecular analysis is possible but because of the marked intrafamilial variability, the severity of the condition in an affected child cannot be predicted.
  • Stress the importance of regular assessment of renal function to the patient.
  • The patient should receive annual glaucoma checks.
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Julie Hoover-Fong, MD, PhD, FACMG Associate Professor, Director, Greenberg Center for Skeletal Dysplasias, McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Julie Hoover-Fong, MD, PhD, FACMG is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, International Skeletal Dysplasia Society, American Society of Human Genetics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Iain McIntosh, PhD Professor of Medical Genetics, Chair, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Director, Stephen Gaffin Research Laboratory, American University of the Carribean

Iain McIntosh, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Society of Human Genetics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Elizabeth Sweeney, MBChB, MD Consultant Clinical Geneticist, Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital, UK

Elizabeth Sweeney, MBChB, MD is a member of the following medical societies: British Society of Human Genetics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Lois J Starr, MD, FAAP Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Clinical Geneticist, Munroe Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Lois J Starr, MD, FAAP is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Maria Descartes, MD Professor, Department of Human Genetics and Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine

Maria Descartes, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, American Medical Association, American Society of Human Genetics, Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, International Skeletal Dysplasia Society, Southeastern Regional Genetics Group

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Christian J Renner, MD Consulting Staff, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Erlangen, Germany

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous authors Suzanne M Carter, MS, and Susan J Gross, MD, FRCS(C), FACOG, FACMG, to the original writing and development of this article.

  1. West JA, Louis TH. Radiographic findings in the nail-patella syndrome. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2015 Jul. 28 (3):334-6. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  2. Sweeney E, Fryer A, Mountford R, Green A, McIntosh I. Nail patella syndrome: a review of the phenotype aided by developmental biology. J Med Genet. 2003 Mar. 40(3):153-62. [Medline].

  3. Romero P, Sanhueza F, Lopez P, Reyes L, Herrera L. c.194 A>C (Q65P) mutation in the LMX1B gene in patients with nail-patella syndrome associated with glaucoma. Mol Vis. 2011. 17:1929-39. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  4. Chatterjee M, Chatterjee C. Nail-patella syndrome--a preliminary study for genetic linkage with ABO blood group. J Indian Med Assoc. 2010 Nov. 108(11):747-9. [Medline].

  5. Bongers EM, van Kampen A, van Bokhoven H, Knoers NV. Human syndromes with congenital patellar anomalies and the underlying gene defects. Clin Genet. 2005 Oct. 68(4):302-19. [Medline].

  6. McIntosh I, Dunston JA, Liu L, Hoover-Fong JE, Sweeney E. Nail patella syndrome revisited: 50 years after linkage. Ann Hum Genet. 2005 Jul. 69(Pt 4):349-63. [Medline].

  7. López-Arvizu C, Sparrow EP, Strube MJ, Slavin C, DeOleo C, James J, et al. Increased symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and major depressive disorder symptoms in Nail-patella syndrome: potential association with LMX1B loss-of-function. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2011 Jan. 156B(1):59-66. [Medline].

  8. Dunston JA, Hamlington JD, Zaveri J, et al. The human LMX1B gene: transcription unit, promoter, and pathogenic mutations. Genomics. 2004 Sep. 84(3):565-76. [Medline].

  9. Marini M, Bocciardi R, Gimelli S, et al. A spectrum of LMX1B mutations in Nail-Patella syndrome: new point mutations, deletion, and evidence of mosaicism in unaffected parents. Genet Med. 2010 Jul. 12(7):431-9. [Medline].

  10. Clough MV, Hamlington JD, McIntosh I. Restricted distribution of loss-of-function mutations within the LMX1B genes of nail-patella syndrome patients. Hum Mutat. 1999. 14(6):459-65. [Medline].

  11. Tigchelaar S, Lenting A, Bongers EM, van Kampen A. Nail patella syndrome: knee symptoms and surgical outcomes. A questionnaire-based survey. Orthop Traumatol Surg Res. 2015 Dec. 101 (8):959-62. [Medline].

  12. [Guideline] Papnicolaou N, Francis IR, Casalino DD, et al. ACR Appropriateness Criteria renal failure. [online publication]. Reston (VA): American College of Radiology (ACR); 2008. [Full Text].

  13. Bongers EM, Huysmans FT, Levtchenko E, et al. Genotype-phenotype studies in nail-patella syndrome show that LMX1B mutation location is involved in the risk of developing nephropathy. Eur J Hum Genet. 2005 Aug. 13(8):935-46. [Medline].

  14. Chen H, Lun Y, Ovchinnikov D, et al. Limb and kidney defects in Lmx1b mutant mice suggest an involvement of LMX1B in human nail patella syndrome. Nat Genet. 1998 May. 19(1):51-5. [Medline].

  15. Cormier-Daire V, Chauvet ML, Lyonnet S, et al. Genitopatellar syndrome: a new condition comprising absent patellae, scrotal hypoplasia, renal anomalies, facial dysmorphism, and mental retardation. J Med Genet. 2000 Jul. 37(7):520-4. [Medline].

  16. Dai JX, Johnson RL, Ding YQ. Manifold functions of the Nail-Patella Syndrome gene Lmx1b in vertebrate development. Dev Growth Differ. 2009 Apr. 51(3):241-50. [Medline].

  17. Dreyer SD, Zhou G, Baldini A, et al. Mutations in LMX1B cause abnormal skeletal patterning and renal dysplasia in nail patella syndrome. Nat Genet. 1998 May. 19(1):47-50. [Medline].

  18. Dunston JA, Reimschisel T, Ding YQ, et al. A neurological phenotype in nail patella syndrome (NPS) patients illuminated by studies of murine Lmx1b expression. Eur J Hum Genet. 2005 Mar. 13(3):330-5. [Medline].

  19. Fong EE. Iliac horns' (symmetrical bilateral central posterior iliac processes):a case report. Radiology. 1946. 47:517-518.

  20. Galloway G, Vivian A. An ophthalmic screening protocol for nail-patella syndrome. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 2003 Jan-Feb. 40(1):51-3. [Medline].

  21. Krawchuk D, Kania A. Identification of genes controlled by LMX1B in the developing mouse limb bud. Dev Dyn. 2008 Apr. 237(4):1183-92. [Medline].

  22. Lemley KV. Kidney disease in nail-patella syndrome. Pediatr Nephrol. 2008 Jun 6. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  23. Mimiwati Z, Mackey DA, Craig JE, Mackinnon JR, Rait JL, Liebelt JE. Nail-patella syndrome and its association with glaucoma: a review of eight families. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006 Dec. 90(12):1505-9. [Medline].

Nail of a patient the nail-patella syndrome.
Decreased severity of nail dystrophy towards the fifth finger and loss of skin creases over the distal interphalangeal joints. Courtesy of Journal of Medical Genetics, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Triangular lunules. Courtesy of Journal of Medical Genetics, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
X-ray of pelvis showing iliac horns. Courtesy of Journal of Medical Genetics, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
X-ray of pelvis showing iliac horns in early childhood. Courtesy of Journal of Medical Genetics, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Lester's sign of the iris. Courtesy of Journal of Medical Genetics, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2016 by WebMD LLC. This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.