The clinical significance of multiple hair whorls and their association with unusual dermatoglyphics and dysmorphic features in mentally retarded Israeli children

Eur J Pediatr. 1987 Nov;146(6):568-70. doi: 10.1007/BF02467355.


The prevalence of multiple hair whorls in a group of mentally retarded patients was 8% as opposed to 3.6% in a group of healthy children. A statistically significant relationship was demonstrated between mental retardation, multiple hair whorls, more than two dysmorphic features, and unusual dermatoglyphics. The results confirm the importance of multiple hair whorls as a genuine dysmorphic feature. The significance of these markers in the evaluation of mentally retarded subjects is discussed, with special reference to the timing of the fetal insult.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatoglyphics*
  • Female
  • Hair / abnormalities*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intellectual Disability / complications*
  • Israel
  • Male