Background: An early diagnosis of CHARGE syndrome is challenging, especially for the primary care physicians who often take care of neonates with multiple congenital anomalies. Here we report eight cases of CHARGE syndrome whose diagnosis was made early in life with the intent to identify the most helpful features allowing a prompt clinical diagnosis. Methods: Medical records of patients with CHARGE syndrome whose diagnosis was made at the Fondazione IRCCS Ca′ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan, Italy were retrospectively reviewed. Results: Taken together, these patients reflect the considerable phenotypic variability of the syndrome; in one patient, the diagnosis was made immediately after birth because all the major criteria were met. In six patients, presenting with relatively nonspecific defects, a temporal bone computerized tomography scan was essential to achieve the correct diagnosis. In one patient, the diagnosis was made later than the others were. A careful examination revealed the presence of outer, middle, and inner ear anomalies: These elements, in the absence of any additional major criteria, represented for us an important diagnostic clue. Conclusions: This article suggests that an accurate evaluation of the ear should be made every time CHARGE syndrome is considered as a likely diagnosis even when the standard criteria are not fulfilled.
- CHARGE syndrome
- Ear malformations
- Early diagnosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health