Spanish Version
Print-Friendly
Bookmarks
bookmarks-menu

McCune-Albright syndrome

Polyostotic fibrous dysplasia

McCune-Albright syndrome is a genetic disease that affects the bones and color (pigmentation) of the skin.

Causes

McCune-Albright syndrome is caused by mutations in the GNAS gene. A small number, but not all, of the person's cells contain this faulty gene (mosaicism).

This disease is not inherited.

Symptoms

The main symptom of McCune-Albright syndrome is early puberty in girls. Menstrual periods may begin in early childhood, long before the breasts or pubic hair develop (which normally occur first). The average age that symptoms appear is 3 years old. However, puberty and menstrual bleeding have occurred as early as 4 to 6 months in girls.

Early sexual development may also occur in boys, but not as often as in girls.

Other symptoms include:

Exams and Tests

A physical examination may show signs of:

  • Abnormal bone growth in the skull
  • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Acromegaly
  • Gigantism
  • Large cafe-au-lait spots on the skin
  • Liver disease, jaundice, fatty liver
  • Scar-like tissue in the bone (fibrous dysplasia)

Tests may show:

Other tests that may be done include:

Genetic testing may be done to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for McCune-Albright syndrome. Drugs that block estrogen production, such as testolactone, have been tried with some success.

Adrenal abnormalities (such as Cushing syndrome) may be treated with surgery to remove the adrenal glands. Gigantism and pituitary adenoma will need to be treated with medicines that block hormone production, or with surgery.

Bone abnormalities (fibrous dysplasia) are sometimes removed with surgery.

Limit the number of x-rays taken of affected areas of the body.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Lifespan is relatively normal.

Possible Complications

Complications may include:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if your child starts puberty early, or has other symptoms of McCune-Albright syndrome. Genetic counseling, and possibly genetic testing, may be suggested if the disease is detected.

References

Garibaldi LR, Chemaitilly W. Disorders of pubertal development. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 562.

Styne DM, Grumbach MM. Physiology and disorders of puberty. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 25.

BACK TO TOP Text only

  • Anterior skeletal anatomy - illustration

    The skeleton is made up of 206 bones in the adult and contributes to the form and shape of the body. The skeleton has several important functions for the body. The bones of the skeleton provide support for the soft tissues. For example, the rib cage supports the thoracic wall. Most muscles of the body are attached to bones which act as levers to allow movement of body parts. The bones of the skeleton also serve as a reservoir for minerals, such as calcium and phosphate. Finally, most of the blood cell formation takes places within the marrow of certain bones.

    Anterior skeletal anatomy

    illustration

  • Neurofibromatosis - giant cafe-au-lait spot - illustration

    People with neurofibromatosis often have more than 6 light brown spots -- cafe-au-lait spots -- larger than 1.5 centimeters. This is a picture of a giant cafe-au-lait spot on a person with neurofibromatosis.

    Neurofibromatosis - giant cafe-au-lait spot

    illustration

  • Anterior skeletal anatomy - illustration

    The skeleton is made up of 206 bones in the adult and contributes to the form and shape of the body. The skeleton has several important functions for the body. The bones of the skeleton provide support for the soft tissues. For example, the rib cage supports the thoracic wall. Most muscles of the body are attached to bones which act as levers to allow movement of body parts. The bones of the skeleton also serve as a reservoir for minerals, such as calcium and phosphate. Finally, most of the blood cell formation takes places within the marrow of certain bones.

    Anterior skeletal anatomy

    illustration

  • Neurofibromatosis - giant cafe-au-lait spot - illustration

    People with neurofibromatosis often have more than 6 light brown spots -- cafe-au-lait spots -- larger than 1.5 centimeters. This is a picture of a giant cafe-au-lait spot on a person with neurofibromatosis.

    Neurofibromatosis - giant cafe-au-lait spot

    illustration

 

Review Date: 7/26/2018

Reviewed By: Anna C. Edens Hurst, MD, MS, Assistant Professor in Medical Genetics, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com

 
 
 

 

 

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.
Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.