ABSENCE OF EARS is a rare and striking developmental abnormality. Recently European researchers have reported several infants with anotia or microtia in conjunction with facial paralysis and cardiac anomaly. A history of thalidomide ingestion by the mother was noted in these instances. An infant was born with a similar combination of deformities, occurring where the possibility of thalidomide ingestion by the mother was extremely remote.
Report of a Case
A female infant was born on June 28, 1964, after 38 weeks gestation. She weighed 2.22 kg (4.89 lb) and was 44.45 cm (17.5 inches) long at birth. The Apgar score was 7; the placenta was not weighed nor were the cord vessels examined. The absence of both external ears was immediately apparent (Figure) and further examination revealed no auditory canals. A right facial paralysis and a systolic cardiac murmur were also noted. Results of laboratory studies, including an electroencephalogram, were