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Have nail and thumb clubbing, no lung or heart problems. Is there a possibility that my child will be born with clubbing?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2300 Questions
I am 36 years old. I have nail and thumb clubbing since the age of 24. I did chest X XXXXXXX ECG, Eco doppler test at the age of 28 and 35 both. No lung or heart related problems were identified. I didn't feel any breathing problem till now. I dont smoke or drink. However, I am little overweight (78kgs; height 5'8") None of family members and near relatives have clubbing. However, my father is 75 years old and got COPD since last 4-5 years. I married 2 years ago and presently planing for child. We are very eager to know, is there any possibility that my child will born with clubbing or any chest/heart related diseases? thanks in advance.
Posted Fri, 24 Aug 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Prasad 7 hours later

Thanks for query.

I apologize for the delayed response.

Clubbing is a sign that is detected by keen observation by an experienced clinician. Here the terminal part of fingers are swollen and appear like drumstick when compared to the rest of the fingers. My question to you is the condition detected after routine examination by a clinician?

Presuming this was detected by an experienced doctor, I would like to inform you that more than 60 - 70 % patients with clubbing may not have any clinical symptoms. He/she can proceed to parent children without any deficits.

In other 40% where one has symptoms, it is important to identify the underlying cause.

It is good to know that you've been evaluated and no heart / lung abnormality was detected. Extremely rare possibility could be you may have an asymptomatic cystic fibrosis or some intestinal pathology. But do not worry, the possibility is rare and you should be able to lead a normal life.

Now to answer your specific question, whether or not your children would have such problems-
A few of the clinical entity associated with clubbing have familial transmission. However as you are asymptomatic, if your partner is non-consanguineous (not a close family relative) the chances your children could have similar problems with symptoms is less likely.

So do not worry. Discuss with your physician if any other medical condition (intestinal/cystic fibrosis / hematological / thyroid conditions) are associated. The chances that they could spread to your children are less likely.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if you have any other concerns.
If you have no further follow ups, please close this discussion.

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