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hEDS v. HSD: what’s in a label, Dr. Brad Tinkle

key information


There has been a major revision in the approach to joint hypermobility (JH) as a whole. To recognize the continuum of JH, the hypermobility spectrum disorders (HSD) were created, ranging between, at one end, asymptomatic JH—someone who has no symptoms apart from their joints’ capacity to move beyond normal limits—through to hypermobile EDS (hEDS), at the other end. The spectrum acknowledges that there can be severe effects on lives, whether they’re the direct result of JH, or because they are known to be associated with having JH.

While hypermobile EDS (hEDS) remains the only EDS without a confirmed cause, the criteria for hEDS diagnosis have been tightened compared to the 1997 Villefranche nosology as determined by international consensus. The essential difference between HSD and hEDS lies in the stricter criteria for hEDS compared to the HSD. If someone was diagnosed with hEDS before the 2017 criteria, there’s no cause to seek a new diagnosis unless they decide to participate in new research or need to be reassessed for some other reason.

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