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Chest Wall Disorder: Poland Syndrome

What Is Poland Syndrome?

Poland syndrome is a condition where a child is born with missing or underdeveloped chest muscles. The shoulder, arm, and hand also can be involved. Usually only one side of the body is affected.

What Causes Poland Syndrome?

The cause of Poland syndrome is unknown. It may be from a blockage of blood flow to the chest, shoulder, arm, and hand muscles while a baby is developing in the womb.

Who Gets Poland Syndrome?

Most of the time, Poland syndrome happens sporadically. This means it's not inherited from a parent. It is more common in males than females.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Poland Syndrome?

Sometimes, Poland syndrome is barely noticeable. In other cases, it can be quite severe. The condition can be apparent at birth or not noticed until puberty.

Signs of Poland syndrome include:

How Is Poland Syndrome Diagnosed?

Health care providers diagnose Poland syndrome based on a physical exam. If needed, they might also order tests such as:

How Is Poland Syndrome Treated?

Treatment for Poland syndrome usually is based on how severe it is. It may include:

Looking Ahead

Mild Poland syndrome usually does not need treatment. But when the condition is very noticeable or causes other problems, treatment may help and can improve a child's physical and emotional well-being.

Date reviewed: November 2017

Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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