Poland anomaly is an uncommon condition that is present at birth. People with this disorder have a series of malformations on one side of their body, which may include a defect of the pectoralis (chest) muscle and webbing of the fingers.
The syndrome is named for Alfred Poland, the doctor that first diagnosed the disorder in London in 1841. It can also be called Poland's syndrome, Poland syndrome, Poland sequence, or Poland syndactyly.
The cause of Poland anomaly is uncertain. The syndrome occurs randomly and is usually not inherited. It is believed to be caused by limited blood circulation in one of the arteries in the chest before birth. The right side of the body is two to three times more likely to be affected than the left side. Poland anomaly is two to three times more common in boys than girls. The reasons for these differences are not known.
The severity of Poland's Syndrome differs from person to person and it is often not diagnosed or reported, which makes the exact incidence difficult to determine. Current estimates are between one in 10,000 and one in 100,000 births.Symptoms may vary from person to person, although the end of the main chest muscle that normally attaches to the breastbone is always missing. On the same side of the body, nearby chest muscles and axillary (armpit) hair may also be missing. In girls, the breast on that side is also usually absent. The fingers show webbing and tend to be short on the affected side. Children with Poland anomaly are usually otherwise normal. Intelligence is not impaired in Poland syndrome. The only known treatment for Poland anomaly is reconstructive surgery.
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