The dermatoglyphs of 50 Singapore school children with mitral valve prolapse (MVP) were studied, with special reference to the frequency of digital arches. The MVP was diagnosed clinically and substantiated by two dimensional echocardiography. In the study there were 35 Chinese and 15 Malay children, with ages ranging from 6 to 19 years. Four Chinese children had one or more arches on the digits but none of the Malay children was found to have arches. It was shown that the frequency of arches on the digits was not significantly higher than that among 50 controls (who were shown not to have MVP on two dimensional echocardiography) or when compared with the frequency of arches among the Chinese and Malay population in Singapore (2.0% and 2.9% respectively). No other dermatoglyphic abnormalities (including atd angle) were found.
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