Your hand’s palm has three large creases:
“Distal” means “away from the body.” The distal transverse
palmar crease runs along the top your palm. It begins close to your little
finger and ends at the base of your middle or index finger, or between them.
“Proximal” means “towards the body.” The proximal transverse
palmar crease is below the distal crease and somewhat parallel to it, running
from one end of your hand to the other. “Thenar” means “ball of the thumb.” The
thenar transverse crease runs vertically around the base of your thumb.
If you have a single transverse palmar crease (STPC), the
distal and proximal creases combine to form one transverse palmar crease. The
thenar transverse crease remains the same.
An STPC used to be called a “simian crease,” but that term
is no longer considered appropriate.
STPC can be useful in detecting disorders such as Down
syndrome or other developmental problems. However, the presence of a STPC
doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a medical condition.
An STPC develops during the first 12 weeks of the
development of a fetus, or the first trimester. STPC has no known cause. The
condition is common and doesn’t present any health problems for most people.
STPC can help your doctor identify a number of disorders.
The most well-known disorder that’s associated with STPC is Down syndrome,
according to the National
Institute of Health.
Disorders that STPC or other similar palm crease patterns may
help identify include:
This disorder occurs when you have an extra copy of
chromosome 21. It causes intellectual disability, a characteristic facial
appearance, and an increased risk of heart defects and digestive issues.
Fetal alcohol syndrome
This syndrome appears in children whose mothers drank alcohol
during pregnancy. Alcohol damage may cause developmental delays and stunted
growth, and children with this disorder may also have:
- heart problems
- nervous system problems
- social problems
- behavioral problems
This is an inherited genetic condition linked to your X
chromosome. The syndrome affects your facial features, skeleton, and muscle
An STPC doesn’t typically cause any complications. In one reported case, STPC
was associated with fused carpal bones in the hand. Fused carpal bones can be
related to many syndromes and can lead to hand pain, a greater likelihood of
hand fractures, and arthritis.
STPC by itself doesn’t cause any health problems and is
common among healthy people without any disorders. If you do have it, your
doctor can use it to look for other physical characteristics of various
conditions. They can order more tests if you need them.