• Users Online: 387
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-110

Van der Woude syndrome: A rare case report

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Private Practice, Jind, Haryana, India
2 Department of Prosthodontics, Private Practice, Jind, Haryana, India

Date of Web Publication8-Jan-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Swati Phore
H. No. 59 (A) Hastsal, Near Vikaspuri, New Delhi - 110 059
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijohs.ijohs_27_17

Rights and Permissions

Van der Woude syndrome (VWS) is a rare autosomal dominant condition typically comprising the cleft lip or cleft palate and pits of the lower lips. The degree to which individuals carrying the gene are affected varies widely, even within families. The variable manifestations include lip pits alone, absent teeth, and isolated cleft lip and palate of varying degrees of severity, bifid uvula, ankyloglossia, and enamel hypoplasia. We report a case of VWS manifesting with bifid uvula, hypodontia, ankyloglossia, and enamel hypoplasia.

Keywords: Ankyloglossia, bifid uvula, hypodontia, Van der Woude

How to cite this article:
Phore S, Panchal RS. Van der Woude syndrome: A rare case report. Int J Oral Health Sci 2017;7:108-10

How to cite this URL:
Phore S, Panchal RS. Van der Woude syndrome: A rare case report. Int J Oral Health Sci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Jan 27];7:108-10. Available from: https://www.ijohsjournal.org/text.asp?2017/7/2/108/222396

  Introduction Top

Van der Woude syndrome (VWS) is a rare developmental, congenital malformation with autosomal dominant inheritance, high penetrance, and variable expressivity.[1] The pathologic entity was first delineated by Demarquay [2] but was originally reported by Van der Woude.[3]

The distinctive feature of VWS is the presence of lower lip pits and/or sinuses, which are present in approximately 85% of cases, but it may be absent in 15% of the cases.[4] In some rare cases, a single barely visible pit might be the only distinguishable feature of VWS, and in others, it may be absent. Other anomalies that are frequently associated with VWS include hypodontia, submucous cleft palate and bifid uvula, and enamel hypoplasia.[5]

Manifestations of the syndrome in other than the oral or facial areas are unusual. More extreme phenotypes in parents tend to produce more extreme expression in their children.[6]

  Case Report Top

A 21-year-old male patient [Figure 1] reported to the dental outpatient department, with the chief complaint of dirty teeth for 1 month. He had a deleterious habit of chewing gutka occasionally. Past dental and medical history was not significant. The patient gave a history of consanguineous marriage of his parents and the presence of cleft lip and palate in his younger brother. The IQ level of the patient was normal. On intraoral examination, he had thick, hyperplastic lingual frenum attached to the tip of the tongue [Figure 2], but he was not having any problem in swallowing or speech related to that. 31 was missing [Figure 3], and all the permanent first molars were decayed. Generalized enamel hypoplasia of teeth, high-arched palate [Figure 4], and congenital bifid uvula [Figure 5] were also observed. With parent's consent, the radiological investigation was done for further assessment. Orthopantomogram revealed no tooth bud of 31 [Figure 6]. Based on the clinical and radiographic evaluation, the diagnosis of hypodontia with respect to 31; caries with respect to 16, 26, 36, 46; generalized enamel hypoplasia; tongue ankyloglossia; and bifid uvula was made. Oral prophylaxis was advised for him and was kept under regular follow-up.
Figure 1: Extraoral profile of the patient

Click here to view
Figure 2: Tongue ankyloglossia

Click here to view
Figure 3: Missing 31

Click here to view
Figure 4: High-arched palate

Click here to view
Figure 5: Bifid uvula

Click here to view
Figure 6: Orthopantomogram revealing no tooth bud of 31

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

VWS is dominantly inherited and occurs with the prevalence of approximately 1 in 60,000–1 in 75,000 live births, with no sex or race predilection. Although the gene has not yet been identified, it has been localized to the chromosome band 1q32-q41.[7] The second VWS locus has been mapped to 1p34,[8] and recently Kondo identified mutations in the gene encoding interferon regulatory factor 6 causing VWS.[9] Approximately 30%–50% of all cases arise as de novo mutations.

As the specific gene for VWS is unknown, the diagnosis is made on a clinical basis by the presence of lip pits, oral clefting, hypodontia, and ankyloglossia. Because of the variable expression of the disorder, a first-degree relative (parent, child, and sibling) of a diagnosed patient is considered to be affected if they exhibit only one of the two features–either lip pits or an oral cleft.

Congenital lip pits are developmental defects that occur on the paramedian portion of the vermillion border of the lower lip.[10] They are the most common manifestations of the syndrome occurring in 87.5%[11] of all cases, and they are only manifestations of the syndrome in 66%[12] of cases. But in some, they may be absent also.

Hypodontia is considered as a cardinal associated feature and has been observed in 10%–81% of all VWS patients.[13]

Submucous cleft palate: it is common and may be easily missed on physical examination. Hypernasal voice and cleft or bifid uvula are clues to this diagnosis. It is possible as well that a bifid uvula is an isolated finding in certain individuals with the VWS.[14]

Infrequent anomalies include congenital adhesion of the jaw (syngnathia), narrow-arched palate, and ankyloglossia (tongue tie).[15]

In our case, bifid uvula, hypodontia, ankyloglossia, and enamel hypoplasia associated with a suggestive familial history were consistent with the diagnosis of VWS.

The reported incidences of extraoral manifestations are rare but include limb anomalies, popliteal webs, and brain abnormalities. Accessory nipples, congenital heart defects, and Hirschsprung's disease have also been reported.[15]

It should be differentiated from popliteal pterygium syndrome in which anomalies of skin and genital anomalies are found.[16]

  Conclusion Top

More extreme phenotypes in parents tend to produce more extreme expression in their children. However, the lesser expressions of VWS are common and should be actively looked for when counseling families about cleft lip or cleft lip and palate. All the affected parents should be cautioned that they carry a risk of 50% for each child with a cleft lip or palate or both. The potential of embryoscopy to detect minor malformations such as cleft lip in early term pregnancy allows for detection of VWS.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflflicts of interest.

  References Top

Rizos M, Spyropoulos MN. Van der Woude syndrome: A review. Cardinal signs, epidemiology, associated features, differential diagnosis, expressivity, genetic counselling and treatment. Eur J Orthod 2004;26:17-24.  Back to cited text no. 1
Demarquay JN. Some considerations on the becdelievre. Gas Med Paris 1845;13:52-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
Van Der Woude A. Fistula labii inferioris congenita and its association with cleft lip and palate. Am J Hum Genet 1954;6:244-56.  Back to cited text no. 3
Available from: https://www.rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/8414/van-der-woude-syndrome. [Last updated on 2016 Jul 15].  Back to cited text no. 4
Ghassibé M, Revencu N, Bayet B, Gillerot Y, Vanwijck R, Verellen-Dumoulin C, et al. Six families with van der Woude and/or popliteal pterygium syndrome: All with a mutation in the IRF6 gene. J Med Genet 2004;41:e15.  Back to cited text no. 5
Burdick AB, Bixler D, Puckett CL. Genetic analysis in families with van der Woude syndrome. J Craniofac Genet Dev Biol 1985;5:181-208.  Back to cited text no. 6
Schutte BC, Basart AM, Watanabe Y, Laffin JJ, Coppage K, Bjork BC, et al. Microdeletions at chromosome bands 1q32-q41 as a cause of Van der Woude syndrome. Am J Med Genet 1999;84:145-50.  Back to cited text no. 7
Koillinen H, Wong FK, Rautio J, Ollikainen V, Karsten A, Larson O, et al. Mapping of the second locus for the Van der Woude syndrome to chromosome 1p34. Eur J Hum Genet 2001;9:747-52.  Back to cited text no. 8
Kondo S, Schutte BC, Richardson RJ, Bjork BC, Knight AS, Watanabe Y, et al. Mutations in IRF6 cause Van der Woude and popliteal pterygium syndromes. Nat Genet 2002;32:285-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
Arangannal P, Muthu MS, Nirmal L. Van der Woude syndrome: A case report. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2002;20:102-3.  Back to cited text no. 10
Martelli-Junior H, Chaves MR, Swerts MS, de Miranda RT, Bonan PR, Coletta RD. Clinical and genetic features of Van der Woude syndrome in two large families in Brazil. Cleft Palate Craniofac J 2007;44:239-43.  Back to cited text no. 11
Brookes JT, Canady JW. Surgical correction of congenital lower lip sinuses in Van der Woude syndrome. Cleft Palate Craniofac J 2007;44:555-7.  Back to cited text no. 12
Newman MA, Nartey N, Nyako E. Van der Woude syndrome: Report of a case. Ghana Med J 2005;39:68-70.  Back to cited text no. 13
Janku P, Robinow M, Kelly T, Bralley R, Baynes A, Edgerton MT. The van der Woude syndrome in a large kindred: Variability, penetrance, genetic risks. Am J Med Genet 1980;5:117-23.  Back to cited text no. 14
Shafer WG, Hine MK, Levy BM, Tomich CE. A Textbook of Oral Pathology. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1983.  Back to cited text no. 15
Karande S, Patil S. Van der Woude syndrome. Indian Pediatr 2005;42:278.  Back to cited text no. 16


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
  Case Report
   Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded200    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal