The syndrome is named after a famous professor of Paediatrics who worked in Amsterdam over 60 years ago. In 1933 she published a paper describing two children with the syndrome. Although these two girls were not related their facial features were so similar that both Professor de Lange and her nursing staff thought that they were the same child. A few years later she described another child with the same facial features as the first two children. There are now hundreds of cases of the syndrome recorded in the medical literature.