Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 1986  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-23  

Congenital cleft lip and cleft palate anomalies : a dermatoglyphic study.

RS Balgir, SS Mitra 

Correspondence Address:
R S Balgir

How to cite this article:
Balgir R S, Mitra S S. Congenital cleft lip and cleft palate anomalies : a dermatoglyphic study. J Postgrad Med 1986;32:18-23

How to cite this URL:
Balgir R S, Mitra S S. Congenital cleft lip and cleft palate anomalies : a dermatoglyphic study. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1986 [cited 2023 Sep 24 ];32:18-23
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The study of congenital malformations has been the subject of controversy about the aetiology and the mode of transmission. Evidence exists for hereditary contribution; however, in a certain proportion of the probands the malformations are said to be the outcome of environmental factors especially during the first trimester of intrauterine life. Most of the congenital cleft lip and cleft palate anomalies have a polygenic inheritance,[14],[17] a certain proportion results from a rare mutant genes,[8] chromosomal aberrations9 and unknown exogenous factors. However, the exact aetiology and mechanism of transmission of these dysmorphic entities are still obscure.

Dermatoglyphic analyses provide a tool for the understanding of such naturenurture problems. The utility of dermatoglyphics in medicine has been demonstrated by us earler,[2],[3],[4],[5] however, relatively few studies have been reported on the patients suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate.[1],[11],[16] In all these studies, the patients with various oral defects were pooled. The present study is an attempt to find the utility of dermatoglyphics in the study of congenital anomalies individually and to ascertain the genetic contribution in the aetiology of cleft lip and cleft palate deformities.


The study was carried out at the Department of Plastic Surgery, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (P.G.I.), Chandigarh, India. The patients were those who attended the out patient department of the Nehru Hospital, Chandigarh.

The patients were divided into three groups: Group I cleft lip; Group II c1left palate; and Group III cleft lip plus cleft palate. There were 21 males and 9 females in Group I, 11 males and 12 females in Group II, and 29 males and 8 females in group III. The parents of these patients were interviewed to exclude those patients whose mothers used drugs or suffered from any kind of serious infection during the pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. The probands suffering from other congenital deformities were excluded. It was also ascertained that the patients were not related to each other. From the families having positive family history of these defects, only one patient was included in the study. All the patients were residing in the North-western part of India.

Fifty apparently healthy individuals without any evidence of congenital anomalies or medical disorders, and matching with patients (for age, sex, socioeconomic status, caste, religion and ethnic background) were used as controls.

Bilateral finger and palmar prints were obtained using ink and pad technique as described by Commins and Midlo[6] and were analysed according to the standard guidelines for classification of patterns,[6],[10] for C-line terminations,[12] and for Sydney line and Simian crease.[15] The data were analysed statistically for boys and girls separately.


[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8] shows the results of the present study.


The findings of the present study reveal statistically significant difference between dermatoglyphic patterns of controls and those of patients under study. As the dermatoglyphics are genetically controlled characteristics,[6],[10] any deviation in dermatoglyphic features indicates a genetic difference between the controls and abnormal population. These results are consistent with those of other studies which support the genetic aetiology of these congenital malformations.[1],[7],[14],[17]


1Adams, M. S. and Niswander, J. D.: Developmental 'noise' and a congenital malformation. Genet. Res. 10: 313-317, 1967.
2Balgir, R. S.: Dermatoglyphic studies in affective disorders: an appraisal. Biol. Psychiat. 17: 69-82, 1982.
3Balgir, R. S.: Polymorphism of C and D line terminations in manic-depressive psychosis. Dermatoglyphics. 11:9-15, 1983.
4Balgir, R. S.: Dermatoglyphic studies in epilepsy, juvenile delinquency and criminality, and mental retardation: a review. Acta Anthropogenetica (1984, in Press).
5Balgir, R. S. and Srinivasa Murthy, R.: Dermatoglyphic studies in schizophrenia: a review. Ind. J. Psychiat., 24: 248-257, 1982.
6Cummins, H. and Midlo, C.: Finger Prints Palms and Soles: An Introduction to Dermatoglyphics. Dover Publications, New York, 1961.
7Fogh-Andersen, P.: Inheritance of Harelip and Cleft Palate. A. Busck, Copenhagen: 1942.
8Gorlin, R. J. and Pindborg, J. J.: Syndromes of the Head and Neck. McGraw Hill Book Company, New York, London, Johansburg, 1964.
9Lubs, H. A., Koenig, E. U ., Brandt, I. K.: Trisomy 13-15: A clinical syndrome. Lancet, 2: 1001-1002, 1961.
10Penrose, L. S.: Memorandum on Dermatoglyphic Nomenclature. In, Birth Defects. Original Articles Series. Vol. IV, No. 3, Editor D. Bergsma, The National Foundation-March of Dimes, New York, 1968.
11Piatkowska, E. and Sokolowski, J.: Dermatoglyphs in primary and secondary cleft palate. Amer. J. Hum. Genet. 25: 575-676, 1973.
12Plato, C. C.: Polymorphism of the Cline with a new classification of the C-line terminations. Amer. J. Phys. Anthrop., 33: 413-420, 1970.
13Schaumann, B. and Alter, M.: Dermatoglyphics in Medical Disorders. Springer Verlag, New York, 1976.
14Spence, M. A., Westlake, J., Lange, K. and Gold, D. P.: Estimation of polygenic recurrence risk for cleft lip and palate, Hum. Hered. 26: 327-336, 1976.
15Steinberg, F. S., Cereghino, J. J. and Plato, C. C.: The dermatoglyphics of American Negroes. Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol. 42: 183-193, 1975.
16Woolf, C. M. and Gianas, A. D.: Congenital cleft lip and fluctuating dermatoglyphic asymmetry. Amer. J. Hum. Genet. 28: 400-403, 1976.
17Woolf, C. M., Woolf, R. M. and Broadbent, T. R.: Cleft lip and cleft palate in parent and child. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 44: 436-440, 1969.

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