Congenital anomalies are present in at least 10% of all neonatal intensive care unit admissions, of whom many have an underlying genetic condition. About 50–60% of human congenital anomalies are of unknown etiology, and approximately one- third are caused by genetic factors. A smaller percentage of birth defects are the result of chromosomal aberrations and gene mutations. Around 1 in 40 or 2.5% of all newborns have a malformation at birth. This may be an isolated malformation or may occur together with other malformations and/or dysmorphic features as part of a malformation syndrome. Around 4000 malformation syndromes have now been delineated. Many are associated with medical problems and making a specific syndrome diagnosis can influence immediate medical management. However, the infant with dysmorphism often does not have a major malformation, and may simply have an appearance that is unusual compared with the general population and of unaffected close relatives. The chapter intends to provide semnificative data concerning the approach and management of a dysmorphic neonate, mainly when there are minor anomalies and will offer all those relevant data and try to establish a protocol guide for the approach of the dimorphic neonate.
Part of the book: Congenital Anomalies