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Disease Profile

Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset

All ages





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.

Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Dermatoosteopoikilosis; BOS; Dermatofibrosis, disseminated with osteopoikilosis;


Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Musculoskeletal Diseases; Skin Diseases


Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome (BOS) affects the skin and bones causing skin lesions and spots on the bones. The skin lesions are due to abnormalities in different types of connective tissue. The bone spots are painless areas of increased bone density seen on X-ray. People with BOS may have only skin, only bone or both skin and bone involvement. Rarely, BOS causes melorheostosis, which results in abnormal bone growth and can lead to bone pain and abnormally flexed joints. Symptoms of BOS usually start in childhood. The skin lesions can increase with age, but they do not cause other symptoms. BOS is caused by variations in the LEMD3gene and is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. Diagnosis is based on clinical examination, imaging studies, and may be confirmed by the results of genetic testing. Treatment of BOS is focused on managing the symptoms. Many people with BOS have no symptoms or pain and do not require any treatment.[1][2][3]


The following list includes the most common signs and symptoms in people with Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome (BOS). These features may be different from person to person. Some people may have more symptoms than others and symptoms can range from mild to severe. This list does not include every symptom or feature that has been described in this condition.

Signs and symptoms of Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome may include:[1][2]

  • Yellow or skin-colored bumps on or under the skin 
  • Areas of thick skin
  • Spots on the bones due to increased bone density (osteopoikilosis)
  • Abnormal bone growth (melorheostosis)

Melorheostosis is a rare finding in BOS that can cause bone pain, joint contractures, and abnormal bone growth. Other rare complications of BOS include spinal stenosis, hearing loss, and short stature. The first signs of BOS are the skin lesions which can be present at birth but usually occur in childhood. By adulthood, most people with BOS will have osteopoikilosis. Osteopoikilosis is painless and often found by accident. Symptoms of BOS are very different from person to person, even within the same family.[1][2]

This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
100% of people have these symptoms
Connective tissue nevi
80%-99% of people have these symptoms
Abnormality of epiphysis morphology
Abnormal shape of end part of bone
Abnormality of the metaphysis
Abnormality of the wide portion of a long bone
Bone pain
Flat occiput
Generalized hypopigmentation
Fair skin
Pale pigmentation

[ more ]

Generalized osteosclerosis
Bone overgrowth
Short stature
Decreased body height
Small stature

[ more ]

Skeletal dysplasia
Subcutaneous nodule
Firm lump under the skin
Growth of abnormal tissue under the skin

[ more ]

30%-79% of people have these symptoms
Flexion contracture
Flexed joint that cannot be straightened
Joint stiffness
Stiff joint
Stiff joints

[ more ]

5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Abnormal aortic morphology
Abnormality of the dentition
Abnormal dentition
Abnormal teeth
Dental abnormality

[ more ]

Joint pain
Joint inflammation
Atypical scarring of skin
Atypical scarring
Diffuse skin atrophy
Generalized limb muscle atrophy
Generalized muscle wasting
Hearing impairment
Hearing defect

[ more ]

Strawberry mark
Hoarse voice
Husky voice

[ more ]

Swelling caused by excess lymph fluid under skin
Muscle ache
Muscle pain

[ more ]

Palmoplantar keratoderma
Thickening of palms and soles
Recurrent fractures
Increased fracture rate
Increased fractures
Multiple fractures
Multiple spontaneous fractures
Varying degree of multiple fractures

[ more ]

Renal insufficiency
Renal failure
Renal failure in adulthood

[ more ]

Squint eyes

[ more ]

Visual impairment
Impaired vision
Loss of eyesight
Poor vision

[ more ]

1%-4% of people have these symptoms
Cutaneous finger syndactyly
Webbed fingers
Webbed skin of fingers

[ more ]

Percent of people who have these symptoms is not available through HPO
Autosomal dominant inheritance


Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome is caused by the LEMD3 gene not working correctly. DNA changes known as pathogenic variants are responsible for making genes work incorrectly or sometimes, not at all.[4]


Buschke-Ollendorf syndrome is diagnosed based on the symptoms, clinical examination, imaging studies, and the results of genetic testing.[1] A skin biopsy may be performed to remove a piece of skin to examine under the microscope. Diagnosing Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome is important to prevent the skin and bone findings from being mistaken for cancerous.


Treatment for Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome is focused on managing the symptoms. Many people with BOS have no symptoms and do not need treatment. Surgery may help with bone growth abnormalities.[1][5]

Specialists involved in the care of someone with Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome may include:

  • Dermatologist
  • Orthopedist

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has a resource page, titled "What Are Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue? Fast Facts: An Easy-to-Read Series of Publications for the Public." Click on the link to view the information page.

    In-Depth Information

    • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
    • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
    • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
    • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
    • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


      1. Pope V, Dupuis L, Kannu P, Mendoza-Londono R, Sajic D, So J, Yoon G, Lara-Corrales I. Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome: a novel case series and systematic review. Br J Dermatol. Apr 2016; 174(4):723-9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26708699.
      2. Diotallevi F, Simonetti O, Radi G, artina E, Paolinelli M, Sapigni C, Guanciarossa F, Bianchelli T, Brancorsini D, Offidani A. Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome in a 6-year-old patient: clinical and histopathological aspects of a rare disease. Acta Dermatovenerol Alp Pannonica Adriat. Mar 2020; 29(1):31-33. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32206820.
      3. Xu Z, Yang C, Xue R. Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome with LEMD3 germline stopgain mutation p.R678* presenting as multiple subcutaneous nodules with mucin deposition. J Cutan Pathol. Jun 9, 2020; doi: 10.1111/cup.13771:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32519343.
      4. BUSCHKE-OLLENDORFF SYNDROME; BOS. Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man. Updated June 22, 2020; https://omim.org/entry/166700.
      5. Brodbeck M, Yousif Q, Diener PA, Zweier M, Gruenert J. The Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome: a case report of simultaneous osteo-cutaneous malformations in the hand. BMC Res Notes. Jun 7, 2016; 9:294. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27267960.

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