I am 31 years old and my husband and I are considering starting a family. I was born with a bifid nose which was repaired as a child. I am wondering if you can explain the role of genetics and the bifid nose.
The role of genetics in being born with a bifid nose is not completely understood. There have been reports in the literature consistent with several different patterns of inheritance for a bifid nose. Inheritance patterns consistent with autosomal recessive inheritance and autosomal dominant inheritance have been reported both for individuals with only a bifid nose as well as for individuals with a bifid nose and additional abnormalities. Ocular hypertelorism (widely spaced eyes) is occasionally associated with bifid nose but the genetics of the combination has been unclear. For frontonasal dysplasia, a condition that includes several potential abnormalities limited to the head and neck (including a bifid nose), both autosomal recessive and X-linked dominant inheritance has been observed, as well as sporadic cases (occurring in individuals with no history of the condition in the family). For another condition called bifid nose with or without anorectal and renal anomalies, autosomal recessive inheritance has been suggested, and there has been evidence that mutations in the FREM1 gene cause this particular condition.
Individuals interested in learning more about the genetics of a particular trait or condition, or their specific risk to have a child or other family member with a condition, should speak with a genetics professional.
Last updated: 7/1/2011
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