What is 4p deletion (Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome)?

Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) is caused by a deletion of a piece of chromosome 4. This missing genetic material results in severe developmental delays, a characteristic facial appearance, and may include a variety of other birth defects, including heart defects, hearing impairment and eye problems. Most children who have WHS have seizures. It has been estimated that approximately 35% of individuals who have WHS die within the first two years of life.

How common is Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome?

The incidence of WHS is estimated to be approximately one in 50,000 births.

How is Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome treated?

There is no cure for the underlying condition of WHS. Patient treatment and management is specific to each individual and include medical specialists to address feeding problems, seizures, skeletal abnormalities, heart defects, hearing and vision problems and global developmental delays.

Other names for
4p deletion

  • Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome


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  • Jones, K. L. (Ed.). (2013). Smith’s recognizable patterns of human malformation (7th ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier Inc.