Ankyloblepharon-ectodermal defects-cleft lip/palate (AEC) Syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by ectodermal dysplasia, along with other malformations such as cleft lip and palate, and various secondary issues such as chronic sinusitis, otitis media, and conductive hearing loss (CHL). The International Research Symposium for AEC Syndrome convened at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Patients with a suspected diagnosis of AEC syndrome attended, and members of the dental, dermatology, plastic surgery, otolaryngology, and audiology services examined each patient. Eighteen patients with a diagnosis of AEC were evaluated. Mean age was 7.5 years (range: 4 months-30 years). Fourteen of the 15 subjects tested (93.33%) demonstrated CHL, with seven showing moderate to severe hearing deficits (41-90 dB). Nine of 13 respondents reported hoarseness or voice problems; 8 were noted to display this on examination. Fourteen of 16 subjects reported speech was below average for age; 8 were in speech therapy. All 18 subjects reported a history of otitis externa or otitis media. Eleven of the subjects (61.11%) required myringotomy and pressure equalizing (PE) tubes. All patients demonstrated cleft palate defects. Of these, 16 (94.11%) presented with clefting of the soft palate, and 10 (58.82%) showed hard palate defects. Three subjects (16.67%) were noted to have submucous clefts. Our experience leads us to propose that while the oroauditory problems in those with AEC syndrome is likely multifactorial, many issues may stem from palatal clefting. Despite this, some abnormalities persist following surgical cleft closure, which indicates other complicating factors are also involved.
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