Dermatoglyphics pattern in children with congenital malformations


  • Udhaya Deepa T. Department of Paediatrics, Government Vellore Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Durai Arasan G. Department of Paediatrics, Chengalpattu Medical College and Hospital, Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, India



Dermatoglyphics, Congenital malformations


Background: Dermatoglyphics is an indispensable tool in the field of Forensic Science and Criminology and its various unknown aspects are being explored in other fields. They are important in genetics because of their usefulness in diagnosing some dysmorphic syndromes like Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome etc.

Methods: A hospital based descriptive study was carried out in the Institute of Child Health, Madras Medical College, Chennai from January 2015 to September 2015. Children admitted with major congenital malformation diagnosed either clinically or with imaging were included in the study.

Results: 125 children with congenital malformation were included in the study. This included 65 cases of congenital heart disease, 20 cases of congenital talipo equino varus, 15 cases of cleft lip/palate, 15 cases of genetic syndrome and 10 cases of CNS malformations. Loops (64.3%) were the most common pattern in CHD followed by whorls (31.5%). In the CTEV group, loops (57.65%) were the most common pattern followed by whorls (36.48%). Ulnar loops (50.32%) was more common in Down’s Syndrome whereas arches (46.37%) were more common in Edward’s Syndrome. Frequency of whorls (53.28%) was higher in children with CNS malformations.

Conclusions: Congenital malformations are associated with abnormal dermatoglyphics patterns. Patterns such as loops are common in CHD and syndromic children whereas whorls are common in children with CNS malformations. Large population study with a well-matched control may bring out definite dermatoglyphic pattern for many congenital disorders. They may serve as a simple diagnostic tool for these disorders.


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