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Arachnodactyly

Dolichostenomelia (refers to a long, slender body, not just fingers); Spider fingers; Achromachia

Arachnodactyly is a condition in which the fingers are long, slender, and curved. They look like the legs of a spider (arachnid).

Considerations

Long, slender fingers can be normal and not associated with any medical problems. In some cases, however, "spider fingers" can be a sign of an underlying disorder.

Causes

Causes may include:

  • Homocystinuria
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Other rare genetic disorders

Note: Having long, slender fingers may be normal.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Some children are born with arachnodactyly. It may become more evident over time. Talk to your health care provider if your child has long, slender fingers and you are concerned that an underlying condition may exist.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The provider will perform a physical exam. You will be asked questions about the medical history. This includes:

  • When did you first notice the fingers being shaped like this?
  • Is there any family history of early death? Is there any family history of known hereditary disorders?
  • What other symptoms are present? Have you noticed any other unusual things?

Diagnostic tests are most often not necessary unless a hereditary disorder is suspected.

References

Doyle Al, Doyle JJ, Dietz HC. Marfan syndrome. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 702.

Herring JA. Orthopaedic-related syndromes. In: Herring JA, ed. Tachdjian's Pediatric Orthopaedics. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 41.

Jones KL, Jones MC, Del Campo M. Pattern of malformation differential diagnosis by anomalies: limbs. In: Jones KL, Jones MC, Del Campo M, eds. Smith's Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:Appendix 1.15

          Review Date: 12/13/2017

          Reviewed By: Kimberly G Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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