New extensions of a model for the growth and coalescence of ellipsoidal voids based on the Gurson formalism are proposed in order to treat problems involving shear and/or voids axis not necessarily aligned with the main loading direction, under plane strain loading conditions. These extensions are motivated and validated using 3D finite element void cell calculations with overall plane strain enforced in one direction. The starting point is the Gologanu model dealing with spheroidal void shape. A void rotation law based on homogenization theory is coupled to this damage model. The predictions of the model closely agree with the 3D cell calculations, capturing the effect of the initial void shape and orientation on the void rotation rate. An empirical correction is also introduced for the change of the void aspect ratio in the plane transverse to the main axis of the void departing from its initially circular shape. This correction is needed for an accurate prediction of the onset of coalescence. Next, a new approach is proposed to take strain hardening into account within the Thomason criterion for internal necking, avoiding the use of strain hardening-dependent fitting parameters. The coalescence criterion is generalized to any possible direction of the coalescence plane and void orientation. Finally, the model is supplemented by a mathematical description of the final drop of the stress carrying capacity during coalescence. The entire model is developed for plane strain conditions, setting the path to a 3D extension. After validation of the model, a parametric study addresses the effect of shear on the ductility of metallic alloys for a range of microstructural and flow parameters, under different stress states. In general, the presence of shear, for identical stress triaxiality, decreases the ductility, partly explaining recent experimental results obtained in the low stress triaxiality regime. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.