Constriction Ring Syndrome Symptoms & Causes

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What is constriction ring syndrome?

Constriction ring syndrome occurs when fibrous bands of the amniotic sac (the lining inside the uterus that contains a fetus) become entangled around a developing fetus.

In some cases, the bands wrap around the fetus's head or umbilical cord. More commonly though, the bands wrap around a limb, fingers or toes, creating severe constrictions. It’s similar to what happens when you wrap a rubber band around your arm or leg.

Constriction ring syndrome is also known as:

   •   ADAM Complex
   •   amniotic band sequence
   •   amniotic band syndrome 
   •   amniotic disruption complex
   •   amniochorionic mesoblastic fibrous strings
   •   congenital amputation
   •   constriction band syndrome 
   •   congenital constricting bands
   •   Streeter bands
   •   tissue bands

What causes constriction ring syndrome?

The exact cause of the syndrome is unknown, but it’s not believed to be hereditary. Many times, it seems to occur for no apparent reason.

How common is constriction ring syndrome?

Constriction ring syndrome occurs in about 1 in every 10,000 to 15,000 babies. Researchers think it occurs more frequently in the fingers than in the toes.

Is constriction ring syndrome dangerous?

Constriction ring syndrome sometimes results in nothing more than an unsightly, circular indentation around your child’s finger or limb.

Deeper bands can cause some more serious problems:

   •   severe swelling
   •   restriction of the lymphatic or venous flow
   •   interference with development of the arm or leg

If a band is tight enough, the constriction may even cause an in utero (before birth) amputation of the arm or the leg.

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