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Radial Clubhand Workup

  • Author: Scott H Kozin, MD; Chief Editor: Harris Gellman, MD  more...
 
Updated: Jul 20, 2016
 

Laboratory Studies

The appropriate workup for associated conditions necessitates referral to pediatric subspecialists.[3] The heart is evaluated by means of auscultation and echocardiography. The kidneys are examined by means of ultrasonography, and the platelet status is assessed by means of blood count and peripheral blood smear.

The most devastating associated condition is Fanconi anemia. Children with Fanconi anemia do not have signs of bone marrow failure at birth; therefore, the diagnosis is not initially apparent. The majority of children experience signs of aplastic anemia between the ages of 3 and 12 years (median age, 7 years). However, a chromosomal challenge test is available that allows detection of the disease before the onset of bone marrow failure. This assay subjects a sample of the child’s lymphocytes to diepoxybutane or mitomycin C, which cause chromosomes within Fanconi anemia cells to break and rearrange. In contrast, lymphocytes in unaffected children are stable to these agents.

Because bone marrow transplant is the only cure for Fanconi anemia, this prefatory diagnosis is crucial for the child and family. Early diagnosis provides ample time to search for a suitable bone marrow donor or consider preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). PGD is a sophisticated technique that involves in-vitro fertilization, sampling of the blastocytes to ensure human leukocyte antigen (HLA) similarity without Fanconi disease, and reimplantation until birth. At delivery, cord blood is harvested from the newborn and used as a source of stem cell transplant to the affected sibling.

Since PGD takes time, early detection via a chromosomal challenge test is critical and may ultimately save the affected child. The pancytopenia can be treated with bone marrow transplantation, but even with these efforts, life expectancy is only estimated at 30 years (range, 0-50 years).

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Imaging Studies

Plain radiographs are obtained to evaluate the degree of radial aplasia and to assess associated abnormalities of the elbow, wrist, and hand (see the image below).

Radiograph of type IV deficiency with complete abs Radiograph of type IV deficiency with complete absence of radius.

In radial clubhand, ossification is delayed, and final determination of complete aplasia of the radius or carpus must be deferred until later (up to the age of 8 years).

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Scott H Kozin, MD Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Temple University School of Medicine; Chief of Staff, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shriners Hospital for Children

Scott H Kozin, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for Hand Surgery, American Orthopaedic Association, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society, Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Disclosure: Received consulting fee from Checkpoint Surgical for consulting.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

N Ake Nystrom, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Plastic Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Harris Gellman, MD Consulting Surgeon, Broward Hand Center; Voluntary Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Plastic Surgery, Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Surgery, University of Miami, Leonard M Miller School of Medicine; Clinical Professor of Surgery, Nova Southeastern School of Medicine

Harris Gellman, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Arkansas Medical Society, Florida Medical Association, Florida Orthopaedic Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

A Lee Osterman, MD Director of Hand Surgery Fellowship, Director, Philadelphia Hand Center; Director, Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Division of Hand Surgery, University Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

References
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Perpendicular relationship between wrist and forearm in radial clubhand.
Radiograph of type IV deficiency with complete absence of radius.
Ulnar incision to centralize carpus and proximal incision for corrective osteotomy.
Ilizarov device applied for correction of recurrent deformity.
Construction of lines to calculate ulna curvature, hand-forearm angle, and total angulation.
Recurrence after centralization.
Right angle between wrist and forearm.
Uniplanar external fixator.
Multiplanar external fixator.
Single incision following preliminary external fixation.
Forearm lengthening with distraction osteogenesis.
Marked recurrence of radial deviation.
Table 1: Syndromes or Associations With Radial Deficiency
Syndrome or Association Characteristics
Holt-Oram Heart defects, most commonly cardiac septal defects
Thrombocytopenia-absent radius (TAR) syndrome Thrombocytopenia present at birth (may require transfusions), but improves over time
VACTERL association Vertebral abnormalities, anal atresia, cardiac abnormalities, tracheoesophageal fistula, esophageal atresia, renal defects, radial dysplasia, lower-limb abnormalities
Fanconi anemia Aplastic anemia not present at birth, develops about 6 years of life
CHARGE syndrome Coloboma of the eye, heart defects, atresia of the nasal choanae, retardation of growth or development, genital or urinary abnormalities, and ear abnormalities and deafness
Table 2: Global Classification of Radial Longitudinal Deficiency
Type Thumb Anomaly Carpal Anomaly* Distal Radius Proximal Radius
N Absence or hypoplasia Normal Normal Normal
O Absence or hypoplasia Absence, hypoplasia, or coalition Normal Normal, radioulnar synostosis, or radial head dislocation
1 Absence or hypoplasia Absence, hypoplasia, or coalition >2 mm shorter than ulna Normal, radioulnar synostosis, or radial head dislocation
2 Absence or hypoplasia Absence, hypoplasia, or coalition Hypoplasia Hypoplasia
3 Absence or hypoplasia Absence, hypoplasia, or coalition Physis absent Variable hypoplasia
4 Absence or hypoplasia Absence, hypoplasia, or coalition Absence Absence
*Carpal anomaly implies hypoplasia, coalition, absence or bipartite carpal bones. Hypoplasia and absence are more common on the radial side of the carpus, and coalitions are more frequent on the ulnar side.
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