National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Waardenburg Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Synonyms Back to top
Disorder Subdivisions Back to top
- Waardenburg syndrome type IIA (WS2A)
- Waardenburg syndrome type IIB (WS2B)
- Waardenburg syndrome type III (WS3)
- Waardenburg syndrome type II (WS2)
- Waardenburg syndrome type IV (WS4)
- Waardenburg syndrome type I (WS1)
General Discussion Back to top
Waardenburg syndrome is a genetic disorder that may be evident at birth (congenital). The range and severity of associated symptoms and findings may vary greatly from case to case. However, primary features often include distinctive facial abnormalities; unusually diminished coloration (pigmentation) of the hair, the skin, and/or the iris of both eyes (irides); and/or congenital deafness. More specifically, some affected individuals may have an unusually wide nasal bridge due to sideways (lateral) displacement of the inner angles (canthi) of the eyes (dystopia canthorum). In addition, pigmentary abnormalities may include a white lock of hair growing above the forehead (white forelock); premature graying or whitening of the hair; differences in the coloration of the two irides or in different regions of the same iris (heterochromia irides); and/or patchy, abnormally light (depigmented) regions of skin (leukoderma). Some affected individuals may also have hearing impairment due to abnormalities of the inner ear (sensorineural deafness).
Researchers have described different types of Waardenburg syndrome (WS), based upon associated symptoms and specific genetic findings. For example, Waardenburg syndrome type I (WS1) is characteristically associated with sideways displacement of the inner angles of the eyes (i.e., dystopia canthorum), yet type II (WS2) is not associated with this feature. In addition, WS1 and WS2 are known to be caused by alterations (mutations) of different genes. Another form, known as type III (WS3), has been described in which characteristic facial, eye (ocular), and hearing (auditory) abnormalities may be associated with distinctive malformations of the arms and hands (upper limbs). A fourth form, known as WS4 or Waardenburg-Hirschsprung disease, may be characterized by primary features of WS in association with Hirschsprung disease. The latter is a digestive (gastrointestinal) disorder in which there is absence of groups of specialized nerve cell bodies within a region of the smooth (involuntary) muscle wall of the large intestine.
In most cases, Waardenburg syndrome is transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait. A number of different disease genes have been identified that may cause Waardenburg syndrome in certain individuals or families (kindreds).
Resources Back to top
National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation
PO Box 959
East Hempstead, NH 03826-0959
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
FACES: The National Craniofacial Association
PO Box 11082
Chattanooga, TN 37401
111 E 59th St
New York, NY 10022-1202
National Vitiligo Foundation
PO Box 23226
Cincinnati, OH 45223
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
3417 Volta Place NW
Washington, D.C. 20007-2778
American Foundation for the Blind
2 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10121
American Council of the Blind
2200 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
National Association of the Deaf
8630 Fenton Street
Silver Springs, MD 20910
NIH/National Eye Institute
31 Center Dr
Bethesda, MD 20892-2510
MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Let Them Hear Foundation
1900 University Avenue, Suite 101
East Palo Alto, CA 94303
American Academy of Audiology
11730 Plaza America Drive, Suite 300
Reston, VA 20190
Perkins School for the Blind
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472
National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness
The Teaching Research Institute
345 N. Monmouth Avenue
Monmouth, OR 97361
Hearing Loss Association of America
7910 Woodmont Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation of Smiles
2044 Michael Ave SW
Wyoming, MI 49509
For a Complete Report Back to top
This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".
The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.
It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report
This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email email@example.com
Last Updated: 9/5/2012
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