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Variation in Palmar Creases

Milton Alter, MD, PhD
Am J Dis Child. 1970;120(5):424-431. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100100088008.
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Unusual palmar flexion creases have been reported in a number of clinical syndromes including Down's syndrome,1 trisomy D,2 cri-du-chat,3 and prenatal rubella.4 These reports have awakened the interest of medical practitioners in a field formerly the province of chiromancers and gypsies.5 Since palmar flexion creases develop in the embryo6 and are readily evident at birth, the clinician may inspect them during the perinatal examination. If unusual configurations are present, he may be alerted to the possibility of other anomalies or his confidence in making an early diagnosis of a con

genital defect may be strengthened.

Systematic study of palmar creases reveals that some individuals who seem quite normal otherwise have unusual palmar flexion creases. Therefore, information on variation in palmar crease configuration in normal populations would


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