Bol Med Hosp Infant Mex 2014 Nov - Dec;71(6):387-395. Epub 2015 May 19.
Departamento de Genética, Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez, México, D.F., México. Electronic address:
Mexico has a prevalence of microtia of 7.37/10,000 (newborns), 3 times higher than the prevalence reported in other populations (USA 2-3/10,000). Microtia is defined as a congenital malformation of the external ear characterized by a small auricular lobe with an abnormal shape. It is more often unilateral and on the right side. Males are more frequently affected than females. It can occur as an isolated defect or can be associated with other abnormalities such as stenosis of the external auditory canal. In three of the main pediatric hospitals in Mexico, microtia is among the most important causes of attendance in the Genetics Department. Microtia-atresia must be considered as a major malformation with important repercussions in hearing function requiring multidisciplinary medical care in order to limit the disability associated and to provide genetic counseling. Its etiology is complex. Only in a minor number of cases it has been possible to identify a main genetic component (as in monogenic presentations) or a main environmental cause (as in fetal alcohol syndrome or pregestational diabetes). In most cases this malformation is multifactorial. Due to the relevance that the frequency of microtia atresia has in different health services in Mexico, it is important that all medical professionals are aware of its clinical, molecular and inherited characteristics.