Diagnosis: Revealing Palm Lines

Medical researchers are finding valuable diagnostic clues in what would seem to be an unlikely place—the hollow of an infant's hand. Certain abnormalities in palm lines and fingerprint patterns can alert pediatric cardiologists to the existence of inborn heart defects, including those that develop in the womb, perhaps from a maternal infection such as rubella. Other aberrant patterns may indicate to specialists in the science of dermatoglyphics (literally, "skin carvings") the presence of Down's syndrome (mongolism) and other chromosomal disorders. Now, researchers have discovered that some unusual palm lines signal the possibility of childhood leukemia.

Formed in the Womb. The patterns...

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