What is Amniotic Band Syndrome?

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Amniotic bands extend from the inner lining of the amniotic sac. These bands can wrap around the fetus, and sometimes wreak havoc with fetal development. This phenomena may happen sporadically, or as the result of an injury or trauma to the maternal abdomen.

No two cases of Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS) are identical. There may be one band, or several, The affects can be as mild a a shallow crease on limb, or severe enough to deform or amputate digits or limbs (congenital or intrauterine amputation), or constrict tissues to the point of incompatibility with life.

When amniotic bands cross the  head, face, chest or abdomen, they can cause very serious developmental problems. Bands around the head or face may cause facial deformities or encephalocele. Wrapped around the abdomen, amniotic bands may interfere with the development of internal organs such as kidneys. Across the chest, they can cause heart defects.

Other names for Amniotic Band Syndrome include Constriction Bands, Streeter Bands, Streeter Anomaly and Streeter Dysplasia.

ABS can result in mild deformities, or in cases so severe as to be fatal. Some birth defects associated with ABS are anencephaly, craniofacial defects including cleft lip or palate, limb defects, clubbed feet or hands, and limb-body-wall complex.

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