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Studies of malformation syndromes of man XXXXI B: Nosologic studies in the Hanhart and the Möbius syndrome


We reviewed etiologic and phenotypic aspects of those orofacial and limb anomalies usually diagnosed as Hanhart syndrome and Möbius syndrome, but also those described, among others, under names such as aglossia-adactylia syndrome, glosso-palatine ankylosis, ankyloglossia superior, peromelia and micrognathia, cleft palate/lateral synechiae syndrome, and the Charlie M. syndrome. By coding the degree of severity of the limb defects it was possible to compare these cases quantitatively and to determine the nosologic significance of associated cranial nerve palsies and chest abnormalities. We analyzed 7 personal and 62 previously reported cases and found: 1. that the severity in the upper limbs and particularly, malformations of the feet, but not the presence or absence of cranial nerve palsies, is a significant feature in the differentiation of cases, and 2. that the group of patients with cranial nerve palsies includes some with limb defects similar to those in the Hanhart syndrome and others with features which overlap the manifestations of the Poland syndrome. Still other cases had cranial nerve palsy as an isolated trait or as a component manifestation of several different syndromes.

These findings permit re-definition and nosologic delimitation of the various syndromes as follows: 1. The Hanhart syndrome: usually severe limb defect of at least one hand or foot, frequently associated with severe oral abnormalities and sometimes also with cranial nerve palsy. Most cases reported as aglossia-adactylia syndrome, aglossia-hypomelia syndrome, and some cases reported as glossopalatine ankylosis, ankyloglossia superior and Möbius syndrome describe instances of the Hanhart syndrome. 2. The Poland-Möbius syndrome: we suggest this term to refer to those cases of “Möbius syndrome” which have a chest defect and/or symbrachydactyly of the type seen in the Poland syndrome. We suspect that these cases of the “Möbius syndrome,” and most of the cases which are usually diagnosed as Poland syndrome represent a different spectrum of the same condition, hence the term Poland-Möbius syndrome. 3. The autosomal dominant cleft palate/lateral synechiae syndrome delineated by Fuhrmann et al. and other apparently less frequent conditions are mentioned in the discussion.

Cranial nerve palsy obviously occurs in several etiologically distinct conditions. An analogous situation is present, although less obvious, in the Hanhart and the Poland-Möbius syndrome. Both of these conditions are formal genesis malformation syndromes which implies that they are etiologically non-specific developmental field complexes. In the Hanhart syndrome Bersu et al. postulate a common pathogenetic disturbance for oral and limb defects, thus suggesting that the manifestations represent a single anomaly rather a “syndrome.” This anomaly, for which we suggest the term Kettner anomaly, may occur not only in the Hanhart syndrome but also in other conditions. Similarly, the Poland anomaly, i.e. symbrachydactyly and ipsilateral pectoralis muscle hypoplasia, may occur in the Poland-Möbius syndrome as well as in other conditions.

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Supported by USPHS/NIH Grant GM 20 130, Paper No. 1893 from the University of Wisconsin Genetics Laboratory.

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Herrmann, J., Pallister, P.D., Gilbert, E.F. et al. Studies of malformation syndromes of man XXXXI B: Nosologic studies in the Hanhart and the Möbius syndrome. Eur J Pediatr 122, 19–55 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00445030

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Key words

  • Hanhart syndrome
  • Möbius syndrome
  • Poland syndrome
  • Nosology
  • Pathogenesis
  • Formal genesis syndrome
  • Single anomaly vs. syndrome
  • Kettner anomaly
  • Glossopalatine ankylosis syndrome
  • Aglossia-adactylia syndrome
  • Charlie M. syndrome
  • Cleft palate-lateral synechae syndrome
  • Cleft palate
  • Micrognathia
  • Microstomia
  • Microglossia
  • Oligodontia
  • Ankyloglossia superior and inferior
  • Syngnathia