As a rare genetic disorder, children who suffer from Adams-Oliver syndrome are among a very unusual sect of congenital defect patients. While the symptoms of Adams-Oliver syndrome are common, there are still only a very slight number of cases reported in the United States.
When suffering from Adams-Oliver syndrome, a child born with this condition will exhibit complications of the head, skull and even reportedly suffer from heart disease. In many cases, limb defects are also quite common.
What sets this condition apart from other genetic defects it the further discovery that Adams-Oliver syndrome may be directly related to the genetic defect that leads to uterine compression, amniotic band complications and even vascular disruption within the fetal development. As a result, if prenatal testing reveals the child is at risk for developing Adams-Oliver syndrome, and this concurrent prenatal complication can be isolated, there may be measures which can be taken reduce the risk for developing the abnormalities associated with Adams-Oliver syndrome.
Because head and limb defects are of greatest concern, affecting over 80 percent of the Adams-Oliver syndrome cases, prenatal tests which indicate a child is at risk for this genetic defect will require neonatal care at birth. While a missing finger or a missing toe is a relatively minor complication, some children with Adams-Oliver syndrome will develop webbing of the hands and feet or may, in some cases, suffer from a total loss of a limb or a simple shortening of the fingers and toes.
Congenital heart defects, while rarer than limb and head defects, will further complicate the health of a newborn born with Adams-Oliver syndrome. While less than 20 percent of children suffer from the congenital heart defect, a pediatric cardiologist will need to be involved in your child’s care at the time of birth.
Treating Adams-Oliver syndrome will, of course, vary from child to child depending on the complications experienced as a result of the genetic abnormality. With early diagnosis and early intervention by pediatric specialists, especially the neonatologist at birth, your child can be afforded the best possible outcomes. While lifespan is not found to be shortened by Adams-Oliver syndrome, the fact remains that many cases are not reported or diagnosed properly and so these statistics may not be entirely accurate.
As a parent expecting a child who may be at risk for a genetic defect, the key to optimal outcomes of the pregnancy and birth may lie, in part, in the prenatal genetic counseling. If the child is born with Adams-Oliver syndrome, managing the orthopedic complications, in addition to the associated mental health complications and cognitive deficits, will ensure your child is given the best possible life, for as long as possible.