Goldenhar syndrome: current perspectives

World J Pediatr. 2017 Oct;13(5):405-415. doi: 10.1007/s12519-017-0048-z. Epub 2017 Jun 15.


Background: Progress in medical branches that has taken place since the first child with Goldenhare syndrome (GS) had been described in 1952 by Maurice Goldenhar, facilitated better understanding of this congenital defect. It also gave new perspectives and the opportunity to achieve satisfactory treatment results, mainly due to development of surgical techniques.

Data sources: Based on the literature and own experience, we discussed the phenotype of presentation of GS, ethiopathogenesis, genetic counselling and treatment with particular emphasis on surgery correction of hemifacial microsomia.

Results: The spectrum of GS abnormalities ranges from mild to severe ones and include patients with barely noticeable facial asymmetry to very pronounced facial defect with more or less severe abnormalities of internal organs and/or skeleton. It is characterized most commonly by impaired development of eyes, ears, lips, tongue, palate, mandible, maxilla, zygomatic and orbital structures and deformations of the teeth structures. Ethiopathogenesis is multifactorial and dependent on genetic and environmental factors but there are still many unknowns about the syndrome which should be revealed.

Conclusions: Patients with GS due to a large variety of abnormalities and different severity of symptoms pose a challenge for clinicians. All of this necessitate an individual approach to each single patient and involvement a team of specialists in treatment planning. It is a complex, long-lasting, multidisciplinary process and should be divided into stages, according to patient's age, as well as the extent and severity of observed abnormalities. Neonatologists and pediatricians are involved in care of these patients from the onset.

Keywords: Goldenhar syndrome; abnormalities; oculoauriculovertebral syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Goldenhar Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Goldenhar Syndrome* / therapy
  • Humans