AEC Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

It is possible that the main title of the report AEC 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.


  • Ankyloblepharon-Ectodermal Defects-Cleft Lip/Palate
  • Ankyloblepharon-Ectodermal Dysplasia-Cleft Lip/Palate Syndrome
  • Hay-Wells Syndrome
  • Rapp-Hodgkin Syndrome, included

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Ankyloblepharon-ectodermal dysplasia-cleft lip/palate (AEC) syndrome, which is also known as Hay-Wells syndrome, is a rare disorder characterized by a wide variety of symptoms that can affect the skin, hair, nails, teeth, certain glands, and the arms and legs. Common symptoms include abnormal fibrous strands of tissue that can partially or completely fuse the upper and lower eyelids (ankyloblepharon), mild to severe skin erosions, abnormal hair, and cleft palate and/or cleft lip. Additional symptoms including malformation of the nails, abnormalities in skin color, limb malformations, and dental changes can also be present. Specific symptoms may vary greatly from one individual to another. AEC syndrome is caused by mutations in the p63 gene and most cases are either new (spontaneous) mutations or are inherited as autosomal dominant disorders. Another disorder that is caused by mutations in the p63 gene, Rapp Hodgkin syndrome, is now considered to be part of the one disease spectrum that also includes AEC syndrome.

There are at least three other syndromes caused by mutations of the p63 gene including limb-mammary syndrome, ADULT syndrome, and EEC syndrome. In addition, p63 mutations have also been reported as the cause of nonsyndromic split hand/foot malformation and nonsyndromic cleft lip/palate. There is considerable overlap among these disorders and some researchers consider them different expressions of one disease process. Despite the overlap, the p63-associated syndromes have their own characteristic physical findings related, in part, to the specific mutation of the p63 gene present. These syndromes are further classified as forms of ectodermal dysplasia, a group of disorders characterized by abnormalities that occur during early embryonic development. Ectodermal dysplasias typically affect the hair, teeth, nails, and/or skin.


National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias
6 Executive Drive
Suite 2
Fairview Hiights, IL 62208-1360
Tel: (618)566-2020
Fax: (618)566-4718

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

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267
TDD: (301)565-2966

NIH/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Building 31, Room 2C39
31 Center Drive, MSC 2290
Bethesda, MD 20892
Tel: (301)496-4261
Fax: (301)480-4098
Tel: (866)232-4528

Craniofacial Foundation of America
975 East Third Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Tel: (423)778-9176
Fax: (423)778-8172
Tel: (800)418-3223

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

Ectodermal Dysplasia Society
Unit 1 Maida Vale Business Centre
England, GL53 7ER
United Kingdom
Tel: 4401242261332
Tel: 4407805775703

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:  10/25/2013
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