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Children's Health

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Roberts Syndrome

It is possible that the main title of the report Roberts Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Hypomelia-Hypotrichosis-Facial Hemangioma Syndrome
  • Pseudothalidomide Syndrome
  • SC Syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Phocomelia

General Discussion

Roberts syndrome is a rare genetic disorder characterized by growth delays before and after birth (pre- and postnatal growth deficiency); malformations of the arms and legs (limbs); distinctive abnormalities of the skull and facial (craniofacial) region. Mental retardation occurs in some cases; normal intelligence has also been reported.

In infants with Roberts syndrome, the arms and legs may be incompletely developed (limb reduction abnormalities), however, such limb defects are usually symmetrical which are distinct from the asymmetrical limb defects in CdLS. Such abnormalities may range from absence of all four limbs (tetraphocomelia) to less severe degrees of limb reduction, such as underdevelopment and/or absence of certain bones of the upper arms (humeri), forearms (radii and/or ulnae), thighs (femurs), shins (tibiae), and/or on the outside of the lower legs (fibulae). Characteristic craniofacial abnormalities may include an unusually small, broad head (microbrachycephaly); abnormal grooves on either side of the upper lip (bilateral cleft lip); incomplete development of the roof of the mouth (cleft palate); thin, small wings of the nose (hypoplastic nasal alae); and/or low-set, malformed (dysplastic) ears. Additional abnormalities are often present. Roberts syndrome is probably genetically heterogeneous. While it is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait in most families, the possibility of new mutation in an autosomal dominant gene cannot be excluded.
Initially, researchers believed that Roberts syndrome and SC phocomelia syndrome were separate disorders. However, researchers now believe that the two disorders are different expressions of one distinct disorder because different changes in the same gene are the underlying cause for both conditions.


Children's Craniofacial Association
13140 Coit Road
Suite 517
Dallas, TX 75240
Tel: (214)570-9099
Fax: (214)570-8811
Tel: (800)535-3643

March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Tel: (888)663-4637

FACES: The National Craniofacial Association
PO Box 11082
Chattanooga, TN 37401
Tel: (423)266-1632
Fax: (423)267-3124
Tel: (800)332-2373

P.O. Box 751112
Limekiln, PA 19535
Tel: (702)769-9264
Fax: (702)341-5351
Tel: (888)486-1209

P.O. Box 54
Cornwall, TR13 8WD
United Kingdom
Tel: 08451306225
Fax: 08451300262

NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
31 Center Dr
Building 31, Room 2A32
Bethesda, MD 20892
Fax: (866)760-5947
Tel: (800)370-2943
TDD: (888)320-6942

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated: 1/17/2012
Copyright 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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