Rita Gilman Harper (1934 – present) is an American pediatrician. She is eponymously known for her description of Harper syndrome, a recognised variant of Seckel syndrome.
- 1934 – Born 31 August
- Department of Pediatrics, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center
- Department of Pediatrics, North Shore University Hospital-Cornell University Medical College, Manhasset, New York
Harper syndrome (1967)
[Also known as: Seckel syndrome; microcephalic primordial dwarfism; bird-headed dwarfism; Harper’s syndrome; Virchow-Seckel dwarfism; bird-headed dwarf of Seckel]
Harper syndrome is an extremely rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by intrauterine growth retardation, dwarfism, microcephaly with mental retardation, and a characteristic ‘bird-headed’ facial appearance. [OMIM #210600]
First early descriptions were by Virchow in 1882 and 1892. He characterized this type of dwarf as “bird-headed” or “nanocephalic”. By the former term he referred to the associated largeness of the eyes, beak-like protrusion of the nose, narrowness of the face and recession of the lower jaw and chin.
1960 – Helmut Paul George Seckel (1900-1960) produced the definitive 250 page publication on 2 of his own cases as well as 13 reliable and 11 less reliable cases from the literature.
We have recently studied two siblings who bear a striking resemblance to several of the patients described by Seckel. The purpose of this paper is to report our two siblings, tabulate their more subtle recurring anomalies, and compare their complex pattern of altered morphogenesis within the broad classification of “bird-headed dwarfs.”Harper, 1967
- Achs R, Harper RG, Harrick NJ. Unusual dermatolyphics associated with major congenital malformations. N Engl J Med. 1966;275(23):1273-1278.
- Harper RG, Orti E, Baker RK. Bird-beaded dwarfs (Seckel’s syndrome). A familial pattern of developmental, dental, skeletal, genital, and central nervous system anomalies. J Pediatr. 1967;70(5):799-804.
- Achs R, Harper RG. Dermatoglyphics. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1968;101(7):1006-1023.
- Harper RG, Solish GI, Sang E, Purow H. The effect of a methadone treatment program upon pregnant addicts and their infants. Proc Natl Conf Methadone Treat. 1973;2:1133-1137.
- Harper RG, Yoon JJ. Handbook of neonatology. 1974 [2e 1987]
- Harper RG, Carrera E, Weiss S, Luongo M. A complete computerized program for nutritional management in the neonatal intensive care nursery. Am J Perinatol. 1985;2(2):161-162
- Harper RG, Sia CG, Spinazzola R, Wapnir RA, Orner S, Harper R. Limitation of private attending pediatricians’ neonatal intensive care privileges in level III institutions throughout the United States. Pediatrics. 1994;94(2 Pt 1):190-193.
- Harper RG, Rehman KU, Sia C, et al. Neonatal outcome of infants born at 500 to 800 grams from 1990 through 1998 in a tertiary care center. J Perinatol. 2002;22(7):555-562.
- Virchow R. Zwergenkind. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 1882; 14: 215.
- Virchow R. Vorstellung der Knaben Dobos Janos. Berliner klinische Wochenschrift. 1892; 29: 517
- Seckel HPG. Bird-headed Dwarfs. In: Studies in Developmental Anthropology Including Human Proportions. 1960.
- Helmut Paul George Seckel (1900-1960)
- Seckel syndrome. OMIM #210600
Graduated from Cardiff Medical School in 2017 with MBBCh and BSc in Psychology and Medicine. Currently working as a doctor in the emergency department at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Australia.
BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |