Fetal clenched hands

Fetal clenched hands are an antenatal ultrasound observation where the fetal hands are in a constant (permanently) clenched position as if being unable to extend.

Some authors 3 suggest  that the abnormal posture results in part from

  • muscle variations along the radial margin of the forearm and hand
  • the absence of thenar muscles, anomalous tendons and attachments among the forearm groups
  • fusion among the arm flexor group
Associations

Several conditions are associated with this observation which include

Antenatal ultrasound

Real time images are best for assessment where the fetal hands can be directly observed in a persistent clenched position. Often there may also be overlapping fetal fingers (particularly 2nd finger overlapping the 3rd). Its presence in an antenatal ultrasound scan is sometimes classified as a soft sign for aneuploidic anomalies.

On antenatal imaging consider

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Article information

rID: 13182
System: Obstetrics
Section: Gamuts
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Clenched hands
  • Clenched hand
  • Fetal clenched hand

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