Vertebral anomalies in craniofacial microsomia: a systematic review

Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2017 Oct;46(10):1319-1329. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2017.04.025. Epub 2017 Jun 29.


Craniofacial microsomia (CFM) is characterized by a heterogeneous underdevelopment of the facial structures arising from the first and second branchial arches, but extracraniofacial malformations such as vertebral anomalies also occur. This systematic review provides an overview of the literature on the types and prevalence of vertebral anomalies found in patients with CFM. A systematic search was conducted. Data on the number of patients, patient characteristics, types and prevalence of vertebral anomalies, and other associations between CFM and vertebral anomalies were extracted from the articles identified. Thirty-one articles were included. Seventeen articles described both the prevalence and types of vertebral anomalies in CFM, five articles described solely the types of vertebral anomalies in CFM, and nine articles reported solely the prevalence of vertebral anomalies in CFM. The vertebral anomalies most often reported in CFM are hemivertebrae, block vertebrae, scoliosis/kyphoscoliosis, and spina bifida. These anomalies are mostly present in the cervical and thoracic spine and ribs. The reported prevalence of vertebral anomalies in CFM varies from 8% to 79%. To diagnose vertebral anomalies early in patients with CFM, further research should focus on determining which patients with CFM are at risk of vertebral anomalies.

Keywords: Goldenhar syndrome; cervical anomalies; craniofacial microsomia; hemifacial microsomia; oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum; systematic review; vertebral anomalies.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple
  • Goldenhar Syndrome / complications*
  • Humans
  • Spine / abnormalities*