Waardenburg Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
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

  • WS

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Waardenburg Syndrome Type I (WS1)
  • Waardenburg Syndrome Type II (WS2)
  • Waardenburg Syndrome Type IIA (WS2A)
  • Waardenburg Syndrome Type IIB (WS2B)
  • Waardenburg Syndrome Type III (WS3)
  • Waardenburg Syndrome Type IV (WS4)

General Discussion

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).
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Resources

National Association for Visually Handicapped
22 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
USA
Tel: (212)889-3141
Fax: (212)727-2931
Email: staff@navh.org
Internet: http://www.navh.org

National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation
PO Box 959
East Hempstead, NH 03826-0959
Tel: (603)887-2310
Fax: (603)887-6049
Tel: (800)473-2310
Email: info@albinism.org
Internet: http://www.albinism.org

March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Tel: (888)663-4637
Email: Askus@marchofdimes.com
Internet: http://www.marchofdimes.com

FACES: The National Craniofacial Association
P. O. Box 11082
Chattanooga, TN 37401
Tel: (423)266-1632
Fax: (423)267-3124
Tel: (800)332-2373
Email: faces@faces-cranio.org
Internet: http://www.faces-cranio.org

National Vitiligo Foundation
P.O. Box 23226
Cincinnati, OH 45223
USA
Tel: (513)541-3903
Fax: (513)558-0198
Email: info@nvfi.org
Internet: http://www.nvfi.org

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
3417 Volta Place, NW
Washington, D.C. 20007-2778
United States
Tel: (202)337-5220
Fax: (202)337-8314
Tel: (866)337-5220
TDD: (202)337-5221
Email: info@agbell.org
Internet: http://www.agbell.org

American Foundation for the Blind
2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212)502-7600
Fax: (212)502-7777
Tel: (800)232-5463
TDD: (212)502-7662
Email: afbinfo@afb.net
Internet: http://www.afb.org

American Council of the Blind
2200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 650
Arlington, VA 22201
Tel: (202)467-5081
Fax: (202)465-5085
Tel: (800)424-8666
Email: mailman@acb.org
Internet: http://www.acb.org/

National Association of the Deaf
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 820
Silver Spring, MD 20910
USA
Tel: (301)587-1788
Fax: (301)587-1791
TDD: (301)587-1789
Email: NADinfo@nad.org
Internet: http://www.nad.org

National Crisis Center for the Deaf
University of Virginia Medical Center
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Tel: (800)466-9876

NIH/National Eye Institute
Building 31 Rm 6A32
31 Center Dr MSC 2510
Bethesda, MD 20892-2510
United States
Tel: (301)496-5248
Fax: (301)402-1065
Email: 2020@nei.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.nei.nih.gov/

MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
USA
Tel: (920)336-5333
Fax: (920)339-0995
Tel: (877)336-5333
Email: mums@netnet.net
Internet: http://www.netnet.net/mums/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Email: ordr@od.nih.gov
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/Default.aspx

Madisons Foundation
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310)264-0826
Fax: (310)264-4766
Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

Let Them Hear Foundation
1900 University Avenue, Suite 101
East Palo Alto, CA 94303
Tel: (650)462-3143
Fax: (650)462-3144
Tel: (877)735-2929
Email: info@letthemhear.org
Internet: http://www.letthemhear.org

American Academy of Audiology
11730 Plaza America Drive, Suite 300
Reston, VA 20190
Tel: (703)790-8466
Fax: (703)790-8631
Tel: (800)222-2336
Email: infoaud@audiology.org
Internet: http://www.audiology.org

Perkins School for the Blind
175 North Beacon St.
Watertown, MA 02472
Tel: (617)924-3434
Fax: (617)926-2027
Email: Info@Perkins.org
Internet: http://www.Perkins.org

National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)
The Teaching Research Institute
Western Oregon University
345 N. Monmouth Ave.
Monmouth, OR 97361
Tel: (800)438-9376
Fax: (503)838-8150
Tel: (800)438-9376
TDD: (800)854-7013
Email: info@nationaldb.org
Internet: http://www.nationaldb.org

Hearing Loss Association of America
7910 Woodmont Avenue
Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814
Tel: (301)657-2248
Fax: (301)913-9413
Email: info@hearingloss.org
Internet: http://www.hearingloss.org

For a Complete Report

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html

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