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Ear Malformations

Ear Malformation Symptoms and Causes

Ear malformations, which include pinna abnormalities and low-set ears, refer to abnormalities in the shape or position of the outer ear (pinna or auricle). During fetal development, the outer ear or "pinna" forms at a time when many other critical organs are developing (such as the kidneys). Abnormalities in the shape or position of the pinna may be a sign that the baby also has other related problems.Common ear-malformation abnormalities include cysts in the pinna or skin tags.

Ear Malformation Symptoms

Many children are born with ears that stick out (prominent or protruding ears). Although people may comment on the ear shape, this condition is a variation of normal and is not associated with other disorders. However, the following problems may be related to medical conditions:

  • Abnormal folds or location of the pinna
  • Low-set ears
  • No opening to the ear canal
  • No pinna
  • No pinna and ear canal (anotia)

Ear Malformation Causes

Ear malformations are usually caused by the following conditions:

  • Down syndrome
  • Turner syndrome

Rare conditions that can cause low-set and malformed ears include:

  • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
  • Potter syndrome
  • Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome
  • Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome
  • Treacher Collins syndrome
  • Trisomy 13
  • Trisomy 18