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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Van der Woude syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Cleft lip and/or palate with mucous cysts of lower lip
  • Lip pit syndrome
  • LPS
  • VDWS
  • VWS
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Tests & Diagnosis

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How is van der Woude syndrome diagnosed?

Van der Woude syndrome should be considered in every child born with a cleft lip and/or palate. A clinical evaluation by a medical geneticist is generally performed to document all relevant clinical findings. In addition, the parents should be examined for isolated lip pits, cleft palate, and hypodontia (missing teeth). To make a clinical diagnosis of Van der Woude syndrome, at least one of the following findings must be present:[1]
  • Lip pits and cleft lip AND/OR palate (CLP). Lip pits must be paramedian on the lower lip, and can include mounds with a sinus tract leading from a mucous gland of the lip.

  • Lip pits alone and a first-degree relative with CLP

  • CLP and a first-degree relative with lip pits

Genetic testing for mutations in the IRF6 gene can also be used to diagnose this condition.[1] GeneTests lists the names of laboratories that are performing genetic testing for van der Woude syndrome. To view the contact information for the clinical laboratories conducting testing, click herePlease note:  Most of the laboratories listed through GeneTests do not accept direct contact from patients and their families; therefore, if you are interested in learning more, you will need to work with a health care provider or a genetics professional.
Last updated: 8/1/2011

  1. Durda KM, Schutte BC, Murray JC. IRF6-Related Disorders. GeneReviews. March 2011; Accessed 8/1/2011.


  • The Genetic Testing Registry (GTR) provides information about the genetic tests for this condition. The intended audience for the GTR is health care providers and researchers. Patients and consumers with specific questions about a genetic test should contact a health care provider or a genetics professional.