Goldenhar syndrome

Goldenhar syndrome, also known as oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum (OAVS), Goldenhar-Gorlin syndrome or facio-auriculo-vertebral dysplasia, is a complex congenital anomaly characterized by abnormalities of the ears, eyes and vertebrae.


The estimated incidence is at 1 in 3000-5000 newborns. There may be a minor male predominance (M:F ~3:2).

Clinical presentation

The condition is characterized by a number of features which include:



The occurrence is thought to be mostly sporadic. Occasional autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive forms have been described.


In addition to the main features described above, there may be associated features such as

Radiographic features

Antenatal ultrasound

Individual features are non-specific. The syndrome is sometimes considered when there is facial asymmetry or a maxillary cleft present in association with unilateral microphthalmia.

Treatment and prognosis

The overall prognosis is generally favorable except for cosmetic facial problems and handicap from eye and ear anomalies. Intelligence is usually not affected. There is a ~3% for a future pregnancy.

History and etymology

It is named after Maurice Goldenhar who initially described the condition in 1952 .

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