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Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS):
a new clinical description

Efficiency of physical medicine and rehabilitation

Six hundred individuals studied

Abstract / Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 54S (2011) e169–e177 e173 CO44-003–EN
Centre national de référence des maladies héréditaires rares cutanéo-articulaires du tissu conjonctif, Hôpital Raymond-Poincaré, Hôtel-Dieu de Paris, Médecine physique et de réadaptation, 1, place du Parvis Notre-Dame, 75181 cedex 04 Paris, France
Keywords: Rare genetic disease; Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome; Hypermobility; Physical medicine and rehabilitation; Orthesis; Haemorrhagic syndrome



To redefine the symptomatology of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and help better identify it. Propose and develop treatments mainly in physical medicine and organize rehabilitation.


A study of 600 patients with active file followed by physical medicine and rehabilitation units, examined by the same physician, according to a standard analytical and quantitative evaluation. Production of a database and use of Excel software. Evaluation of rehabilitation therapy where each individual was his/her own control.


Described by Edvard Lauritz Ehlers (1900), then by Alexandre Danlos (1908) this debilitating genetic connective tissue disease is artificially designated by two signs: hypermobility and hyperlaxity. The diagnosis is purely clinical, based on the association of pain, fatigue, impaired proprioception, fragile skin, hypermobility, bleeding, constipation, gastric reflux, dyspnea, respiratory “blocage”. Other events: ENT, ophthalmology, cardiovascular, obstetrical, bladder, spine, thermal, hypnic, memory, attentional disorders, are also observed.


Compressive garments, braces, TENS, “Percussionnaire”, oxygen, balneotherapy.


The syndrome is very often confused with fibromyalgia, sclerosis, axial rheumatism, asthma, Crohn’s disease, hypothyroidism, and psychopathology. Very rare forms with a vascular, intestinal, obstetrical important risk have been described but the distinction remains unclear despite the identification of COL3A1 in vascular EDS. The therapeutic contribution of garments is confirmed.

Further reading

Beighton P., De Paepe A., Steinman B. et al., Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: revised nosology, Villefranche 1997. Am J Med Genet 1998; 77: 33–7.

Hamonet Cl., Laouar R., Vienne M., Brissot R., Bernard J.-C., Comberg A., Vêtements compressifs et syndrome d’Ehlers-Danlos. Étude multicentrique et prospective sur 49 personnes du handicap avec le Handitest. Journal de réadaptation médicale, no 4 2010; 30:pp 184–191.