Teratogenic relationship between polydactyly, syndactyly and cleft hand

J Hand Surg Br. 1990 May;15(2):201-9. doi: 10.1016/0266-7681_90_90125-n.


Several investigators have suggested that polydactyly, syndactyly and cleft hand might have arisen from a common teratogenic mechanism. To confirm this hypothesis, 75 hands with these anomalies were analysed. Advanced cases with central polydactyly or osseous syndactyly in which the fusion area extends as far as the proximal phalanx and metacarpus are identical to typical cleft hand. The author has induced the same deformities using myleran in rat foetuses. The clinical features of these anomalies in rats were the same as those in clinical cases and the critical periods of these anomalies were also the same. The findings suggest that these hand anomalies may appear in human beings when the same teratogenic factor acts on the embryo at the same developmental period and that they should belong to the same teratogenic entity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Fingers / abnormalities*
  • Fingers / diagnostic imaging
  • Fingers / embryology
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand Deformities, Congenital / classification*
  • Hand Deformities, Congenital / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand Deformities, Congenital / embryology
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiography
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Syndactyly / classification*
  • Syndactyly / diagnostic imaging
  • Syndactyly / embryology
  • Teratogens


  • Teratogens