(See also Introduction to Congenital Craniofacial and Musculoskeletal Disorders Introduction to Congenital Craniofacial and Musculoskeletal Abnormalities Craniofacial and musculoskeletal abnormalities are common among children. They may involve only a single, specific site (eg, cleft lip, cleft palate, clubfoot) or be part of a syndrome of multiple... read more and Overview of Congenital Craniofacial Abnormalities Overview of Congenital Craniofacial Abnormalities Congenital craniofacial abnormalities are a group of defects caused by abnormal growth and/or development of the head and facial soft-tissue structures and/or bones. (See also Introduction to... read more .)
A clinical geneticist should evaluate affected patients even in cases of apparent isolated congenital anomaly.
Chromosomal microarray analysis Diagnosis Chromosomal abnormalities cause various disorders. Abnormalities that affect autosomes (the 22 paired chromosomes that are alike in males and females) are more common than those that affect... read more , specific gene tests, or broader gene panel tests should be considered in the evaluation of patients with congenital craniofacial abnormalities. If the results of these tests are nondiagnostic, whole exome sequencing analysis is recommended.
Structural birth defects of the eye are treated surgically using various surgical techniques.
Hypertelorism is widely spaced eyes, as determined by increased interpupillary distance, and can occur in several congenital syndromes, including frontonasal dysplasia (with midline facial cleft, and brain abnormalities), craniofrontonasal dysplasia (with craniosynostosis Craniosynostosis Craniosynostosis is premature fusion of one or more calvarial sutures. (See also Introduction to Congenital Craniofacial and Musculoskeletal Disorders and Overview of Congenital Craniofacial... read more ), and Aarskog syndrome (with limb and genital anomalies).
Hypotelorism is closely spaced eyes, as determined by decreased interpupillary distance. This anomaly should raise suspicion of holoprosencephaly Holoprosencephaly Cerebral hemispheres may be large, small, or asymmetric; the gyri may be absent, unusually large, or multiple and small. In addition to the grossly visible malformations, microscopic sections... read more (a midline brain abnormality).
Coloboma is a gap in the structure of the eye that may affect the eyelid, iris, retina, or optic nerve of one or both eyes. Coloboma of the eyelid is frequently associated with epibulbar dermoid cysts and is common in Treacher Collins syndrome, Nager syndrome, and Goldenhar syndrome. Coloboma of the iris raises the possibility of CHARGE association (coloboma, heart defects, atresia of the choanae, retardation of mental and/or physical development, genital hypoplasia, and ear abnormalities), cat eye syndrome, Kabuki syndrome, or Aicardi syndrome.
Microphthalmia is a small eye globe, which may be unilateral or bilateral. Even when unilateral, mild abnormalities (eg, microcornea, colobomas, congenital cataract Congenital Cataract Congenital cataract is a lens opacity that is present at birth or shortly after birth. Diagnosis is clinical and sometimes with imaging. Treatment is surgical removal of the cataract. (See also... read more ) of the other eye are frequently present. It causes sight-threatening complications such as angle-closure glaucoma Angle-Closure Glaucoma Angle-closure glaucoma is glaucoma associated with a physically obstructed anterior chamber angle, which may be chronic or, rarely, acute. Symptoms of acute angle closure are severe ocular pain... read more , chorioretinal pathology (eg, uveal effusion), strabismus Strabismus Strabismus is misalignment of the eyes, which causes deviation from the parallelism of normal gaze. Diagnosis is clinical, including observation of the corneal light reflex and use of a cover... read more , and amblyopia Amblyopia Amblyopia is functional reduction in visual acuity of an eye caused by disuse during visual development. Severe loss of vision can occur in the affected eye if amblyopia is not detected and... read more .
Causes of microphthalmia include prenatal exposure to teratogens, alcohol, and infections (eg, TORCH [ toxoplasmosis Toxoplasmosis Toxoplasmosis is infection with Toxoplasma gondii. Symptoms range from none to benign lymphadenopathy, a mononucleosis-like illness, to life-threatening central nervous system (CNS) disease... read more , other pathogens, rubella Congenital Rubella Congenital rubella is a viral infection acquired from the mother during pregnancy. Signs are multiple congenital anomalies that can result in fetal death. Diagnosis is by serology and viral... read more , cytomegalovirus Congenital and Perinatal Cytomegalovirus Infection (CMV) Cytomegalovirus infection may be acquired prenatally or perinatally and is the most common congenital viral infection. Signs at birth, if present, are intrauterine growth restriction, prematurity... read more , and herpes simplex Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Infection Neonatal herpes simplex virus infection is usually transmitted during delivery. A typical sign is vesicular eruption, which may be accompanied by or progress to disseminated disease. Diagnosis... read more ]), and numerous chromosomal or genetic disorders, some of which are suggested by other clinical features. Growth and developmental delays are frequently present in microphthalmia that is caused by a chromosomal disorder. Facial asymmetry suggests Goldenhar syndrome or Treacher Collins syndrome, hand abnormalities suggest trisomy 13 Trisomy 13 Trisomy 13 is caused by an extra chromosome 13 and causes abnormal forebrain, midface, and eye development; severe intellectual disability; heart defects; and small birth size. Diagnosis is... read more , oculo-dental-digital syndrome, or fetal alcohol syndrome Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Alcohol exposure in utero increases the risk of spontaneous abortion, decreases birth weight, and can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, a constellation of variable physical and cognitive abnormalities... read more , and genital abnormalities may suggest chromosomal defects, Fraser syndrome, or CHARGE association (coloboma, heart defects, atresia of the choanae, retardation of mental and/or physical development, genital hypoplasia, and ear abnormalities).
Anophthalmia is complete absence of the eye globe and occurs in > 50 genetic syndromes caused by chromosomal anomalies or mutations in one of several genes (eg, SOX2, OTX2, BMP4). When skin covers the orbit, the anomaly is called cryptophthalmos, which suggests Fraser syndrome, Nager syndrome, or ophthalmia-mental retardation.