Dermatoglyphic (fingerprint) evidence for a congenital syndrome of early onset constipation and abdominal pain

Sheldon Gottlieb, Marvin M. Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Chronic idiopathic constipation and abdominal pain are the most common gastrointestinal symptoms but their cause is rarely determined; therefore, they usually are called functional. To determine if congenital factors play a role in these disorders, we examined dermatoglyphic (fingerprint) patterns, a congenital marker, in 155 consecutive patients with gastrointestinal complaints. Sixty-four percent of patients with constipation and abdominal pain before age 10 yr had one or more digital arches, compared with 10% of patients without constipation and abdominal pain (p <0.001). Seventy percent of constipated patients with arches had the onset of symptoms before age 10 yr compared with 23% of constipated patients without arches (p <0.001) and 14% of patients with symptoms other than constipation (p <0.001). Compared with an age- and sex-matched sample of patients without arches, patients with arches had a higher prevalence of constipation and abdominal pain before age 10 (p = 0.003), were more likely (p <0.001) to have chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction (an organic disorder), and were less likely (p = 0.013) to have irritable bowel syndrome (a functional disorder). Identification of a congenital marker, digital arches, associated with early onset constipation and abdominal pain may help to differentiate a congenital organic syndrome from functional disorders such as the irritable bowel syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-432
Number of pages5
JournalGastroenterology
Volume91
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986

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Dermatoglyphics
Constipation
Abdominal Pain
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Dermatoglyphic (fingerprint) evidence for a congenital syndrome of early onset constipation and abdominal pain. / Gottlieb, Sheldon; Schuster, Marvin M.

In: Gastroenterology, Vol. 91, No. 2, 1986, p. 428-432.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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