Amniotic Band Syndrome

Amniotic Band Syndrome

Craniofacial Conditions > Amniotic Band Syndrome

Identifying Amniotic Band Syndrome: Signs and Symptoms

Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS) is a disorder present in the newborn infant in which constriction rings or bands, causing soft tissue depressions, encircle digits, extremities, or limbs and sometimes the neck, thorax, or abdomen. They may be associated with intrauterine amputations (Gray Laboratory Cancer Research Trust, 1999).

What are the causes and effects of Amniotic Band Syndrome?

Amniotic Band Syndrome occurs when the unborn baby (fetus) becomes entangled in fibrous string-like amniotic bands in the womb, restricting blood flow and affecting the baby’s development.

Amniotic Band Syndrome can cause a number of different birth defects depending on which body part(s) is affected. If a band wraps tightly around a limb, the limb can actually be completely amputated. The baby may be born missing fingers, toes, part of an arm or leg. If the band is across the baby’s face it can cause a cleft lip and palate. In a large number of cases the baby is also born with clubfeet. ABS is also the cause of numerous miscarriages, such as when a band becomes wrapped around the umbilical cord.

ABS occurs randomly. It’s not genetic, nor is it caused by anything a pregnant Mom did or didn’t do during pregnancy. To date, no prenatal factors have been associated with ABS. It is extremely unlikely that ABS will affect a future pregnancy.

Patient Spotlight

If you have a free moment, listen to myFace Star, Claudia, sing her moving rendition of “Hallelujah.” She lives with Amniotic Band Syndrome.

claudia sings hallelujah

For nearly 70 years, myFace has worked with patients and families to provide comprehensive care and support. In addition to providing access to state-of-the-art medical care, myFace provides other important services such as emotional support groups, workshops and educational webinars that offer guidance, counsel and resources for patients, families and the greater craniofacial community across the country.

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