Achondroplastic24 (ah-con-dro-PLAS-tic) dwarfism is a condition in which the long bones of the limbs stop growing in childhood, while the growth of other bones is unaffected. As a result, a person has a short stature but a normal-sized head and trunk (fig. 7.12). As its name implies, achondroplastic dwarfism results from a failure of cartilage growth—specifically, failure of the chondrocytes in zones 2 and 3 of the metaphysis to multiply and enlarge. This is different from pituitary dwarfism, in which a deficiency of growth hormone stunts the growth of all of the bones and a person has short stature but normal proportions throughout the skeletal system.
Achondroplastic dwarfism results from a spontaneous mutation that can arise any time DNA is replicated. Two people of normal height with no family history of dwarfism can therefore have a child with achondroplastic dwarfism. The mutant allele is dominant, so the children of a heterozygous achondroplastic dwarf have at least a 50%
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.