This site is intended for healthcare professionals
Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy
Waardenburg's syndrome is the association of:
Waardenburg syndrome is the most common type of hearing loss inherited as autosomal dominant trait
Phenotype associated with this syndrome includes, apart from hearing loss of various degree, pigmentary abnormalities of the skin, eye (heterochromia irides or bright blue irides) and hair (white forelock).
Four types of WS have been distinguished, depending on the presence of other abnormalities
Waardenburg syndrome is named after Waardenburg (1886-1979), a Dutch ophthalmologist, who in 1951, first described a patient with hearing loss, dystopia canthorum (i.e. lateral displacement of the inner canthi of the eyes), and retinal pigmentary differences
Overall, the syndrome affects around 1 in 42,000 people. All races and both sexes are affected equally. Waardenburg syndrome accounts for about 2-5% cases of congenital deafness.