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Posted By Donna Wicks, March 15, 2013

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The terminology relates to JHS and the Hypermobile variant of Ehlers-Danlos changes from March 2017.

The following abbreviations will be used:

HSD= Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder

EDS = Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (variants abbreviated with a prefix lower case letter e.g. hEDS for Hypermobile, or cEDS for Classic)

HDCT = Heritable Disorder of Connective Tissue (or depending on the nature of the article we may also use the layperson term HMSs (hypermobility syndromes) as the same thing).


Many will be familiar with using the term HMS (Hypermobility Syndrome) or JHS (Joint Hypermobility Syndrome) as a diagnosis that describes them being hypermobile and in pain. These terms will no longer be used in our literature, in accordance with the new international terminology. The term HSD is used where a person is symptomatic from their hypermobility but does not have a diagnosis of one of the Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue such as EDS or Marfan syndrome.

Rather than interchanging the term JHS with EDS-Hypermobility Type to describe the condition, we advise that clinicians should apply the 2017 international criteria on Hypermobile EDS (hEDS) and only use this term if it applies to their patient.

In the section on Hypermobility and illness we have in the past explained that there is a spectrum from just being hypermobile with no symptoms, to being hypermobile with joint symptoms with or without other signs and symptoms (HSD), to being hypermobile with joint and other complex problems that constitute a HDCT, the most common being hEDS. This article and the Update for Clinicians will be updated to reflect the changes in terminology.

The term HMSs could be used as an abbreviation for the words hypermobility syndromes when we are talking about all the disorders that are syndromes associated with hypermobility. It is not a diagnostic term in its own right; it is a descriptor of a group of disorders including EDS and Marfan syndrome. The academic term in this situation is Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue (HDCT).


Updated 26 Feb 2017, Dr A Hakim, Chief Medical Officer and Trustee, HMSA.

Version 2   Reviewed May 2017.

Planned date for next review May 2020


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