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Left side of the body parts is small and underdeveloped. What is causing this and what to do?

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Pediatrician, Neonatology
Practicing since : 1970
Answered : 891 Questions
I have an 18 month old son who has a smaller hand on the right side of his body (thinner, shorter fingers, and very mild syndactyly). We have seen a specialist in the past who said this may be due to distal arthrogryposis. However, our regular doctor recently noticed that the right side of his chest is also undergrown in comparison to the left. (inverted nipple on right, and seems like less muscle tone) What could be causing this and what should we have checked when we follow up with the specialists? Our family doctor thought we should make sure it wasn't a circulation issue causing the undergrowth of that side.
Posted Thu, 29 Nov 2012 in Growth and Development in Children
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 11 hours later
Welcome to health care Magic.
Thanks for the detailed report.
there are few possibilities!
The first thing that strikes me is Poland sequence (also called Poland's Syndrome or Poland's Anomaly)
Here there is under development of one side of chest. absent pectoral muscles,along with syndactyly and some other defects.
the other defects are upper limb asymmetry,shortened upper of the forearm bones may be absent.hypoplasia or absent nipples,kidney anomalies,etc.
This is more common in boys.

The exact cause is unknown.The theory is it is related to the shoulder artery ( subclavian) blood supply interruption as a fetus.

when you go to the specialist they will look for associated anomalies in the kidneys,heart.liver and vertebra and see.

A Pediatric Geneticist will be able to identify and guide you.

As you say that his mile stones are normal ,he may not have brain anomalies which is good sign!

Meanwhile I will think about other possibilities also and let you know!
Do Not Worry!
There Are many Famous adults with this anomaly -even a Boxer!
All the best
God Bless
Dr Uma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Left side of the body parts is small and underdeveloped. What is causing this and what to do? 1 hour later
Thank you so much for your reply! I feel much better knowing this information! We have an appointment next week and I feel more knowledgeable and prepared to ask better questions. Let me know if you do think of other possibilities or things we should have checked.

Is it likely that any of our other children would have this if it is in fact Poland's Syndrome?
Thank you again!
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 15 minutes later
Poland's syndrome has mostly sporadic occurrence.
There are rare reports of genetic inheritance in a few families in some parts of the world.
So chances of recurrence are remote.
I will definitely let you know when I come across other possibilities thro HCM!
Good luck
Dr Uma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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