Dermatoglyphics (from ancient Greek derma = "skin", glyph = "carving") is the scientific study of fingerprints. The term was coined by Dr. Harold Cummins, the father of American fingerprint analysis, even though the process of fingerprint identification had already been in use for several hundred years.[1] All primates have ridged skin. It can also be found on the paws of certain mammals, and on the tails of some monkey species. In humans and animals, dermatoglyphs are present on fingers, palms, toes and soles. This helps shed light on a critical period of embryogenesis, between four weeks and five months, when the architecture of the major organ systems is developing.

The word dermatoglyphics is tied with the word uncopyrightable as the longest English words without any repeating letters.

Genetic disorders

Unusual dermatoglyphic patterns often relate to genetic disorders.[2][3] One study of fetuses with chromosomal abnormalities showed that the dermatoglyphic patterns were delayed by more than two weeks.[4]

  • Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome): People with Down syndrome have mainly ulnar loops, and a significantly different angle between the triradia a, t and d (the 'adt angle'). Other differences often include a single transverse palmar crease ("Simian line") (in 50%), and patterns in the hypothenar and interdigital areas,[5] lower ridge counts along digital midlines, especially in little fingers, which corresponds to finger shortening in those with Down's syndrome.[6] There is less variation in dermatoglyphic patterns between people with Down syndrome than between controls,[7] and dermatoglyphic patterns can be used to determine correlations with congenital heart defects in individuals with Down syndrome by examining the left hand digit ridge count minus the right hand digit ridge count, and the number of ridges on the fifth digit of the left hand.[8]
  • Turner syndrome: Predominance of whorls, although the pattern frequency depends on the particular chromosomal abnormality.[9]
  • 47, XXY (Klinefelter's syndrome): Excess of arches on digit 1, more frequent ulnar loops on digit 2, overall fewer whorls, lower ridge counts for loops and whorls as compared with controls, and significant reduction of the total finger ridge count.[10]
  • Trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome): Excess of arches on fingertips and single transverse palmar creases in 60%.
  • Trisomy 18 (Edward's syndrome) 6 - 10 arches on fingertips and single transverse palmar creases in 30%.
  • Inborn blindness: Initial data points to abnormal triradius [11] and excess of arches on fingertips [12]
  • Cri du chat (5p-): Excess of arches on fingertips and single transverse palmar creases in 90%.
  • Noonan syndrome: Increased frequency of whorls on fingertips, and the axial triradius t, as in Turner syndrome, is more often in position t' or t" than in controls.[13] Increased incidence of single transverse palmar creases.
  • Astigmatism relation: [14]

See also



  1. ^ Fingerprint#History of fingerprinting for identification
  2. ^ Shiono H (1986). "Dermatoglyphics in medicine". Am J Forensic Med Pathol 7 (2): 120–6. doi:10.1097/00000433-198607020-00008. PMID 2943156. 
  3. ^ Katznelson M, Goldman B (1982). "Fetal dermatoglyphics". Clin Genet 21 (4): 237–42. doi:10.1111/j.1399-0004.1982.tb00757.x. PMID 6213324. 
  4. ^ Suzumori K (1980). "Dermatoglyphic analysis of fetuses with chromosomal abnormalities". Am J Hum Genet 32 (6): 859–68. PMC 1686142. PMID 6449865. 
  5. ^ Rajangam S, Janakiram S, Thomas I (1995). "Dermatoglyphics in Down's syndrome". J Indian Med Assoc 93 (1): 10–3. PMID 7759898. 
  6. ^ Mglinets V (1991). "[Relationship between dermatoglyphic variability and finger length in genetic disorders: Down's syndrome]". Genetika 27 (3): 541–7. PMID 1830282. 
  7. ^ Mglinets V, Ivanov V (1993). "[Bilateral symmetry of the dermatoglyphic characteristics in Down's syndrome]". Ontogenez 24 (3): 98–102. PMID 8355961. 
  8. ^ Durham N, Koehler J (1989). "Dermatoglyphic indicators of congenital heart defects in Down's syndrome patients: a preliminary study". J Ment Defic Res 33 ( Pt 4): 343–8. PMID 2527997. 
  9. ^ Reed T, Reichmann A, Palmer C (1977). "Dermatoglyphic differences between 45,X and other chromosomal abnormalities of Turner syndrome". Hum Genet 36 (1): 13–23. doi:10.1007/BF00390431. PMID 858621. 
  10. ^ Komatz Y, Yoshida O (1976). "Finger patterns and ridge counts of patients with Klinefelter's syndrome (47, XXY) among the Japanese". Hum Hered 26 (4): 290–7. doi:10.1159/000152816. PMID 976997. 
  11. ^ Viswanathan G, Singh H, Ramanujam P (2002). "[Dermatoglyphic analysis of palmar print of blind children from Bangalore.]". J. Ecotoxicol. Environ. Monit. 12: 49–52. 
  12. ^ Viswanathan G, Singh H, Ramanujam P (2002). "[Dermatoglyphic analysis of finger tip print patterns of blind children from Bangalore.]". J. Ecotoxicol. Environ. Monit. 12: 73–75. 
  13. ^ Rott H, Schwanitz G, Reither M (1975). "[Dermatoglyphics in Noonan's syndrome (author's transl)]". Acta Genet Med Gemellol (Roma) 24 (1–2): 63–7. PMID 1224924. 
  14. ^ Viswanathan G and Rojesh S (2006). "[Dermatoglyphics analysis of astigmatic patients from Bangalore.]". J. Ecobioloy.. 
  15. ^ Nazrol Chevilnius, Dermatoglyphic Consultant (2011)

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • dermatoglyphics — dermatoglyphics. См. дерматоглифика. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • dermatoglyphics — ☆ dermatoglyphics [dʉr΄mə tō glif′iks ] pl.n. the patterns of skin ridges on the lower surface of the hand or foot n. the study of these, as in medical diagnosis dermatoglyphic adj …   English World dictionary

  • dermatoglyphics — 1. The configurations of the characteristic ridge patterns of the volar surfaces of the skin; in the human hand, the distal segment of each digit has three types of configurations: whorl, loop, and arch. SEE ALSO …   Medical dictionary

  • dermatoglyphics — n. 1) the patterns of finger, palm, toe, and sole prints. These patterns are formed by skin ridges, the distribution of which is unique to each individual. Abnormalities are found in those with chromosomal aberrations, such as Down s syndrome. 2) …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • dermatoglyphics — noun plural but singular or plural in construction Etymology: dermat + Greek glyphein to carve + English ics more at cleave Date: 1926 1. skin patterns; especially patterns of the specialized skin of the inferior surfaces of the hands and feet 2 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • dermatoglyphics — dermatoglyphic, adj. /deuhr mat euh glif iks, derr meuh teuh /, n. 1. (used with a pl. v.) the patterns of ridges on the inner surface of the hands and feet. 2. (used with a sing. v.) the science dealing with the study of these patterns. [1925… …   Universalium

  • dermatoglyphics — noun a) the patterns of loops, arches and whorls on the skin of the fingers and feet. b) the study of such patterns …   Wiktionary

  • dermatoglyphics — the study of skin patterns and fingerprints Sciences and Studies …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • dermatoglyphics — n. skin ridges, pattern of ridges on the skin of hands and feet …   English contemporary dictionary

  • dermatoglyphics — [ˌdə:mətə(ʊ) glɪfɪks] plural noun [treated as sing.] the study of skin markings or patterns on fingers, hands, and feet, especially in criminology. Derivatives dermatoglyph noun dermatoglyphic adjective …   English new terms dictionary

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