The incidence and spectrum of congenital hand differences in patients with Fanconi anaemia: analysis of 48 patients

J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2022 Jul;47(7):711-715. doi: 10.1177/17531934221087521. Epub 2022 Mar 31.


We analysed the spectrum of congenital hand differences in a cohort of patients with Fanconi anaemia (FA). Data of 48 FA patients at the National Cancer Institute were reviewed focusing on age at diagnosis, type and severity of limb difference and any potential association with other known clinical anomalies that are part of the FA phenotype, specifically VACTERL-H and PHENOS. Twenty-eight patients had an upper limb difference, which always included thumb hypoplasia. Twenty-three patients had bilateral upper limb differences, including varying combinations and severities of thumb hypoplasia, radial dysplasia and thumb duplication. Patients with a limb difference were diagnosed at a younger age (<2 years: 15/28 with limb anomaly versus 4/20 without a limb anomaly). However, 7/28 with limb anomalies, usually thumb hypoplasia, were not diagnosed until after 6 years of age. This study demonstrates the broad spectrum of radial ray anomalies within the FA phenotype along with the possibility of either unilateral or bilateral upper limb differences and adds further merit to consideration of screening for FA in all cases of radial ray anomaly.Level of evidence: II.

Trial registration: NCT00027274.

Keywords: Fanconi anaemia; X-rays; abnormality; hand; phenotype; photographs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Fanconi Anemia* / complications
  • Fanconi Anemia* / diagnosis
  • Fanconi Anemia* / epidemiology
  • Hand Deformities*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Thumb / abnormalities

Supplementary concepts

  • Thumb deformity

Associated data