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Inherited Disorders and Birth Defects

Single unilateral palmar crease

10/09/2006

Question:

My son was born with a single unilateral palmar crease on his right hand and foot. He appears to be otherwise normal. I have heard that the single palmar crease may be a marker for Down`s Syndrome. Is it indicative of other problems and, if so, what should I look out for? He was seen by a paediatrician at birth and she did not appear to be too concerned. I was too anxious to ask her at the time if my son needs further investigation. My son is now 8 weeks old. He has had his newborn screening tests and no one has said anything about there being any problems. However, I still have a niggling worry that he may not be OK.

Answer:

A single palmer crease is seen in about 4% of the normal population.  Bilateral creases - on both hands - is seen in about 1%.  While this finding can be seen in children with Down syndrome, less than half of children with Down syndrome have single palmer creases.  

If your son has no other problems, I would not be at all concerned.  If you are still concerned, you might want to discuss the finding with your pediatrician at your son's next well baby visit.

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Response by:

Anne   Matthews, RN, PhD Anne Matthews, RN, PhD
Associate Professor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University