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Osteopetrosis

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Definition

noun, plural: osteopetroses

A rare hereditary disorder in which the bones are becoming excessively dense, thick, and brittle.


Supplement

Osteopetrosis is an inherited defect in bone resorption. There is a deficiency of osteoclasts, hence, too little bone is being resorbed, resulting in too much bone being created.

There are three major types of osteopetrosis:

  • Osteopetrosis, autosomal recessive; malignant infantile type
  • Osteopetrosis, autosomal dominant; adult type
  • Osteopetrosis, mild autosomal recessive; intermediate type

The autosomal dominant osteopetrosis is the mildest form whereas the autosomal recessive type is lethal in infancy.

Word origin: Greek word "osteo", meaning "of the bone" + petrō-, var. s. of petroûn to turn to stone + -sis.

Also called: marble bone disease, Albers-Schonberg disease, osteosclerosis fragilis generalisata.
Compare: osteomalacia, osteoporosis.
See also: osteosclerosis.