This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Goldenhar disease is a condition that is present at birth and mainly affects the development of the eye, ear, and spine. The main sign and symptoms are facial asymmetry (one side of the face is different from the other), a partially formed ear (microtia) or totally absent ear (anotia), noncancerous (benign) growths of the eye (ocular dermoid cysts), and spinal abnormalities. Goldenhar disease may also affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, and central nervous system. It is due to problems that occur when the fetus is forming within the womb of the mother, in structures known as the first and second brachial arch. These structures will develop to form the neck and the head. The cause is still unknown. Goldenhar syndrome is part of a group of conditions known as craniofacial microsomia. It is not known whether the conditions included in the group really are different conditions or part of the same problem with different degrees of severity. Treatment is age-dependent, with interventions at appropriate stages during the growth and development of the skull and face.
For more information, visit GARD.