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Journal of the Anatomical Society of India

Dermatoglyphics In Congenital Talipus Equinovarus

Author(s): Pratima R. Kulkarni, K.K. Gaikwad, Vaishali V. Inamdar, D. B. Devarshi, S. L. Tungikar, Shailesh Kulkarni

Vol. 55, No. 1 (2006-01 - 2006-07)

Govt. Medical College, Nanded


The word “Dermatoglyphics” indicate study of epidermal ridge configuration on palms, soles and fingertips.Congenital talipes equino varus is one of the most common forms of congenital club foot and accounts for 95% of total club feet(George W Settle,1963). So an attempt has been made in the present study to see the dermatoglyphic patterns in congenital talipes equino varus patients at Government Medical College, Aurangabad. In the present study, the material consisted of 52 cases (44 males and 8 females) and 48 controls(40 males and 8 females) between the age range of 5 months to 5 years. The prints were taken by using ink method. Parameters like fingertip patterns, triradial counts, a-t-d angle and a-b ridge count were studied.There was significant decrease in a-b ridge count and frequency of ulnar loops, while frequency of whorls was increased in both hands of males and females in congenital talipes equino varus patients as compared to controls. Frequency of arches and radial loops was lowered in both hands of males, female group did not show any variation in frequency of arches and there was absence of radial loops in affected females. A-t-d angle did not show any variation in both hands of males and females in congenital taipes equino varus patients as compared to controls.

Key words: Dermatoglyphics, fingertip patterns, triradial counts, a-t-d angle, a-b ridge count.


Dermatoglyphics, literally means skin carvings. Ridges are genetically determined and influenced by environmental, physical and topographical factors (Blanka,1976). Dermatoglyphics is a scientific method for anthropological, medicolegal and genetic studies. The term was first coined by Harold Cummins in 1926. In congenital talipes equino varus the foot is plantar flexed and inverted. The etiology of club foot is partly genetic and partly environmental (Palmer,1964).So an attempt has been made, to study dermatoglyphic patterns in congenital taipes equino varus, to compare them with normal individuals and to compare the findings of present study with previous workers

Material and Methods:

The material consisted of 100 cases,out of which 52 cases were of CTEV (44 males and8 females) and 48 cases of control (40 males and 8 females). The age group of subjects ranged from 5 months to 5 years.Ink method was used as described by Cummins and Midlow which requires ink slab, inverted ‘T’ shaped pad,Kore’s duplicating ink, white paper, magnifying lens, protractor, scale, soapand pencil.

Hands were thoroughly washed with soap before taking prints. Then ink was placed on the ink slab and the inverted ‘T’ shaped pad was soaked in it.The ink was evenly spread on the ink slab.Then fingers were rolled laterally on the slab on which ink was transferred and were placed on a white paper with one lateral edge and rolled over in opposite direction. To take the palm print palm was dusted with the same ‘T’ pad.The palm was then kept on a white paper with firm pressure on the dorsum of hand and interdigital areas. Thus dermatoglyphic patterns were recorded and parameters like fingertip patterns (ulnar loops, radial loops, whorls, arches), triradial counts,”a-t-d” angle and a-b ridge count were studied.

Observations and Results:

A total of 52 cases diagnosed in orthopaedics clinic at Government Medical College and Hospital. Aurangabad by clinical and radiological tests of CTEV between age group of 5 mths to 5 years were studied. Out of these 44 were males and 8 females. The prints of these were compared with 48 controls(40 males and8 females) without CTEV or any other congenital anomaly. Findings are shown in table I.


It is accepted now without doubt that congnital talipes equino varus is inherited, though more of the inheritance is not very clear. Development of dermatoglyphic pattern is under genetic control.

No relevant work has been done on dermatoglyphic studies in congenital talipes equino varus since 1862 though studies have been conducted for role of foot prints in management of club feet Kumar et al (1979).In 1994 S Kumar et al studied dermatoglyphics in congenital talipes equino varus along with karyotyping. Findings of our study are compared with S Kumar’s study,shown in Table II.

Comparison of statistically significant findings in Males and Females between CTEV and Controls

Parameters Males Females
  CTEV Control CTEV Control
Fintertip Patterns Rt. Lt. Rt. Lt. Rt. Lt. Rt. Lt.
UL (%) 18.5 21.5 48 42 15 17.5 52.5 50
Whorls (%) 74 68 24.5 28 70 70 32.5 37.5
Arches(%) 6.5 10 18 19.5 15 12.5 12.5 12.5
RL(%) 01 0.5 4.5 10.5 00 00 2.5 1.25
atd angle 48.225 50.775 46.225 49.25 50.00 47.87 48.05 50.10
a-b ridge count 33.87 537.8 49.825 48.05 34.50 34.87 46.00 46.00

Comparison of Dermatoglyphic parameters in CTEV and Controls.

Parameters Workers Males Females
CTEV Control CTEV Control
Rt. Lt. Rt. Lt. Rt. Lt. Rt. Lt.
UL. S. Kumar 40.00 51.05 46.88 60.00 46.67 63.33 44.44 47.78
  Present study 18.50 21.50 48.00 42.00 15.00 17.50 52.50 50.00
Whorls (%) S. Kumar 47.37 39.75 31.25 25.00 35.00 23.11 33.33 31.11
  Present Study 74.00 68.00 29.50 28.00 70.00 70.00 32.50 37.50
Arches (%) S. Kumar 06.32 06.32 16.88 10.00 08.33 10.00 08.89 17.78
  Present Study 06.50 10.00 18.00 19.50 15.00 12.50 12.50 12.50
Radial Loops S. Kumar 06.32 01.58 03.75 04.38 10.00 03.33 12.50 02.21
  Present Study 01.00 00.05 04.50 10.50 00.00 00.00 02.50 00.00
Atd angle S. Kumar 48.7 46.4 45.4 45.1 49.2 47.2 49.8 50.1
  Present Study 48.2 50.7 46.2 49.2 50.2 47.8 48.2 47.8

In males frequency of arches and ulnar loops was decreased and frequency of whorls was increased in both hands in congenital talipes equino varus patients when compared with controls in present study and S. kumar et al study.Radial loop frequency was decreased in both hands in present study and it was increased in right hand in S. Kumar’s study.

In females frequency of ulnar loops was decreased and that of whorls was increased in both hands in congenital talipes equino varus patients as compared to controls, S. Kumar et al also found the same. Frequency of arches showed no difference in both hands in both studies. There was absence of radial loops in patients in the present study.


  1. Blanka.”Dermatoglyphics in medical disorders” springer verlag, Newyork,1976: 2
  2. Cummin H. Epidermal ridge configuration in developmental defects impact reference to ontogenetic Factors which condition ridge direction .American Journal Of Antomy,1926; 38.89
  3. George W settle.The anatomy of CTEV.Journal Of Bone and Joint Surgery 1963 ;45-A:1353.
  4. Palmer RM.Genetics of talipus equino varus;Journal Of Bone and Joint Surgery 1964;46-A,No.3:545.
  5. Penrose LS.Memorandum on dermatoglyphic nomenclature;Birth defects,1968; 4 (3): 1
  6. S Kumar, JM Kaul, BK Dhaon, KK Jain .Dermatoglyphics in congenital talipus equinovarus, Proceedings of Anatomical society of India,1994; 63:44.
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