Disease at a Glance

Singleton-Merten syndrome is a very rare disease that affect many organs. The main features are tooth abnormalities with gum infection; calcifications in the aorta artery and in certain valves of the heart (i.e., aortic and mitral valves); and progressive thinning and weakening of the bones (osteoporosis), especially in the upper and back portions of the skull. Other findings may include neurologic problems, generalized short stature, muscle weakness; poor muscle tone (hypotonia); progressive wasting of the muscles (muscle atrophy); heart arrhythmia, growth and developmental delay; skin problems such as psoriasis; malformation of the hips and/or feet and limbs or fingers, joint problems, tendon rupture, distinct facial features, and vision problems due to glaucoma. Severe systemic lupus erythematosus can also occur with Singleton-Merten syndrome. Singleton-Merten syndrome is caused by genetic changes in the IFIH1 gene, and in the DDX58 genes (which causes an atypical form of Singleton-Merten syndrome where there are no teeth problems). Inheritance is autosomal dominant, but it may also occur sporadically (in individuals with no history of the condition in their family). The genes causing Singeleton-Merten syndrome can activate type I interferon (IFN1) responses. Diseases related to INF1 are known as type I interferonopathies. Type I interferonopathies are a group of rheumatic diseases that are frequently severe. These diseases include Aicardi-Goutiè, res syndrome, familial chilblain lupus, spondyloenchondrodysplasia, the proteasome associated autoinflammatory syndromes, IFN-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) deficiency, Singleton-Merten syndrome, and STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy (SAVI).
Estimated Number of People with this Disease
In the U.S. there may be between

1 to 300

What Information Does GARD Have For This Disease?

Many rare diseases have limited information. Currently GARD is able to provide the following information for this disease:

*Data may be currently unavailable to GARD at this time.
When do symptoms of this disease begin?
This section is currently in development. 


This section is currently in development. We recommend speaking with a doctor to learn more about this disease. 


Genetic Disease

Singleton-Merten syndrome is a genetic disease, which means that it is caused by one or more genes not working correctly.

The following gene(s) are known to be associated with this disease: IFIH1, DDX58



All individuals inherit two copies of most genes. The number of copies of a gene that need to have a disease-causing variant affects the way a disease is inherited. This disease is inherited in the following pattern(s):


Next Steps

Talking with the Medical Team

Good communication between the patient, family, and medical team can lead to an accurate diagnosis. In addition, health care decisions can be made together which improves the patient’s well-being and quality of life.

Describing Symptoms

Describe details about the symptoms. Because there may be many different causes for a single symptom, it is best not to make a conclusion about the diagnosis. The detailed descriptions help the medical provider determine the correct diagnosis.

To help describe a symptom:

  • Use a smartphone or a notebook to record each symptom before the appointment
  • Describe each symptom by answering the following questions:
    • When did the symptom start?
    • How often does it happen?
    • Does anything make it better or worse?
  • Tell the medical team whether any symptoms affect daily activities

Preparing for the First Visit

Working with a medical team to find a diagnosis can be a long process that will require more than one appointment. Make better health decisions by being prepared for the first visit with each member of the medical team.

    Make informed decisions about health care: 
    • Prepare a list of questions and concerns before the appointment
    • List the most important questions first, not all questions may be answered in the first visit
    • Ask questions about symptoms, possible diagnoses, tests, and treatment options
    For future appointments:
    • Discuss what was not addressed at the last visit
    • Discuss changes in the quality of life for the patient, family, and caregivers
    • Discuss health goals and other issues in the patient’s and family’s life that may affect the health care decisions
    Take notes during the appointments to help remember what was discussed.

    Last Updated: Nov. 8, 2021