Severe Agnathia-Otocephaly Complex: Surgical Management and Longitudinal Follow-up From Birth Through Adulthood

J Craniofac Surg. 2015 Nov;26(8):2387-92. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000002150.


Agnathia-otocephaly complex (AOC) is characterized by mandibular hypo- or aplasia, ear abnormalities, microstomia, and microglossia. Though rare and often fatal, this is the first report detailing various reconstructive strategies beyond infancy as well as longitudinal follow-up into adulthood. All patients with AOC treated at our institution over a 30 year period were reviewed. Four patients were identified, one with agnathia, one with micrognathia. Two males with nanognathia (defined as a symphyseal remnant without body nor ramus) were also included. The mean follow-up was 17 years. All four underwent perinatal tracheostomy and gastrostomy-tube placement. Commissuroplasties were typically performed before 3 years of age and repeated as necessary to allow for oral hygiene. Mandibular reconstruction was most successful with rib between ages 3 and 8, after which time, free fibula transfer was utilized. Due to some resoprtion or extrusion, all patients underwent repeated bone grafting procedures. Tissue expansion of the neck was used to restore the lower third of the face, but was most successful in the teenage years. At last follow-up of the eldest patients, one was in college while another was pursuing graduate education. AOC need not be a fatal nor untreatable condition; a reasonable quality of life can be achieved. Although the lower-facial contour may be improved, and a stoma created, the lack of musculature make deglutition virtually impossible with current therapies. Just as transplantation has emerged as a modality for facial restoration following severe trauma, so too may it be a future option for congenital deformities.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ear, External / abnormalities*
  • Ear, External / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Jaw Abnormalities / diagnosis*
  • Jaw Abnormalities / psychology
  • Jaw Abnormalities / surgery
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mandible / abnormalities*
  • Mandible / surgery
  • Mandibular Reconstruction
  • Microstomia / diagnosis*
  • Microstomia / psychology
  • Microstomia / surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Reoperation
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Tongue Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Tongue Diseases / surgery
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Agnathia-microstomia-synotia