Three M Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

It is possible that the main title of the report Three M 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.


  • 3M3
  • 3 M syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Three M syndrome is an extremely rare genetic disorder characterized by low birth weight, short stature (dwarfism), characteristic abnormalities of the head and facial (craniofacial) area, distinctive skeletal malformations, and/or other physical abnormalities. Characteristic craniofacial malformations typically include a long, narrow head (dolichocephaly), an unusually prominent forehead (frontal bossing), and a triangular-shaped face with a prominent, pointed chin, large ears, and/or abnormally flat cheeks. In addition, in some affected children, the teeth may be abnormally crowded together; as a result, the upper and lower teeth may not meet properly (malocclusion). Skeletal abnormalities associated with the disorder include unusually thin bones, particularly the shafts of the long bones of the arms and legs (diaphyses); abnormally long, thin bones of the spinal column (vertebrae); and/or distinctive malformations of the ribs and shoulder blades (scapulae). Affected individuals may also have additional abnormalities including permanent fixation of certain fingers in a bent position (clinodactyly), unusually short fifth fingers, and/or increased flexibility (hyperextensibility) of the joints. The range and severity of symptoms and physicial features may vary from case to case. Intelligence appears to be normal. Three M syndrome is inherited as an autosomal recessive genetic trait.

The name "three M" refers to the last initials of three researchers (J.D. Miller, V.A. McKusick, P. Malvaux) who were among the first to identify the disorder and report their findings in the medical literature in 1972.


MAGIC Foundation
6645 W. North Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302
Tel: (708)383-0808
Fax: (708)383-0899
Tel: (800)362-4423

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

Little People of America, Inc.
250 El Camino Real Suite 201
Tustin, CA 92780
Tel: (714)368-3689
Fax: (714)368-3367
Tel: (888)572-2001

Restricted Growth Association
PO Box 5137
Yeovil, BA20 9FF
United Kingdom
Tel: 03001111970
Fax: 03001112454

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

Coalition for Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue (CHDCT)
4301 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 404
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202)362-9599
Fax: (202)966-8553
Tel: (800)778-7171

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

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:  6/11/2012
Copyright  1997, 1998, 1999, 2006, 2009, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.