Analysis of the fine ridge configurations on the digits of the palms and soles (dermatoglyphics) may sometimes help in the diagnoses of certain medical disorders. Dermatoglyphic patterns have been reported to be associated with congenital anomalies, such as congenital heart disease, duodenal ulcer, abdominal pain, and constipation. The palmar dermatoglyphic patterns of 77 children with constipation (39 functional and 38 organic constipation) were recorded. The control group consisted of 84 children with inguinal hernia. Those patients with at least one arch identified on any digit of either hand were termed arch positive. There was no significant correlation between arch positivity and constipation (functional or organic), or inguinal hernia (chi square, P = 0.9211). Therefore, the presence of palmar arches cannot be used as a screening device for children with chronic constipation, especially of organic etiology.