Navigate Up

Full Library - A-Z Index


Print This Page

Amniotic constriction bands

Amniotic constriction bands are strands of the fluid-filled sac (amniotic sac) that surrounds a baby in the womb. They may cause a congenital (present from birth) deformity of the face, arms, legs, fingers, or toes.

Alternative Names

Pseudo-ainhum; Streeter's dysplasia; Amniotic band sequence; Amniotic band syndrome

Causes

Amniotic constriction bands are caused by damage to a part of the placenta called the amnion. The placenta carries blood to a baby still growing in the womb. Damage to the placenta can prevent normal growth development.

Damage to the amnion may produce fiber-like bands that can trap parts of the developing baby. These bands reduce blood supply to the areas and cause them to develop abnormally.

Amniotic constriction bands are rare.

Symptoms

The severity of the deformity can vary widely, from only one toe or finger being affected to an entire arm or leg missing or being severely underdeveloped. Symptoms may include:

  • Abnormal gap in the face (if it goes across the face, it is called a cleft)
  • All or part of an arm or leg missing (congenital amputation)
  • Defect of the abdomen or chest wall (if band is located in those areas)
  • Permanent band or indentation around an arm, leg, finger, or toe

Exams and Tests

The health care provider can diagnose this condition during a physical exam. The disease is usually diagnosed at birth.

Treatment

Treatment widely varies. Often, the deformity is not severe and no treatment is needed. In more serious cases, major surgery may be needed to reconstruct all or part of an arm or leg.

Outlook (Prognosis)

How well the infant does depends on the severity of the disease. Most cases are mild and the outlook for normal function is excellent. More severe cases have more guarded outcomes.

Possible Complications

Complications can include complete or partial loss of function of an arm or a leg. Congenital bands affecting the hand often cause the most problems.

Updated: 12/4/2013

Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com