What Is Amniotic Band Syndrome & What Are Its Causes?

4 min read

Pregnancy is the most amazing phase in a woman’s life. It is beautiful and challenging, as well. It carries a lot of dos and don’ts for the mother. It is a precarious one that requires one to be vigilant and cautious at each stage. Even after taken care of everything, some babies are born with some issues due to some unexpected pregnancy complications.
Find out one rare but significant issue that adversely affects the baby in the womb- Amniotic band syndrome. Find out why ABS happen, the complications of ABS, how to manage it in pregnancy, and what are the special considerations one should follow during the time of delivery.
The development and growth of the fetus get obstructed under such a condition. Due to this, the blood supply gets restricted to some of the body parts resulting in birth deformities, especially in toe, fingers, face, head, and arm. This is found in 2000 cases and leads to congenital deformations in case not treated and diagnosed on time.


What Causes Amniotic Band Syndrome?

Amniotic Band Syndrome is quite common, but the causes leading to it are very complicated ones. There are many theories about the causes that lead to Amniotic Band Syndrome. According to extrinsic theory, the reason for this syndrome is due to external factors to the fetus. On the other hand, the intrinsic theory states that the syndrome occurs due to the factors found internally in the fetus.
The theories suggest that an amniotic bag has two layers, one known as the amnion while the other is chorion. The former layer is close to the fetus. Both layers being very thin and stick to each other but still separate. This syndrome occurs when a few parts of the amnion which, tears away and leads to obstructing the blood supply, growth leading to birth deformities and other abnormalities. Even though the causes of this syndrome are not very clear, but the medical experts believe it initiates with the tearing of the amnion in the initial stages of pregnancy.

  • When the amnion strings entwine the fetus, it results in ABS.
  • The wear and tear of amnion are accidental and has no association with the mother or even the pregnancy phase.
  • If it takes place in the last stages of pregnancy, especially the third trimester, the chances are that it will not happen again.

Major Complications Of ABS:

This syndrome is a group of birth defects that are caused when the organs of the fetus, especially limb, hands get entwined in amniotic strings while the baby is still in the womb. It can also be said that before the birth of the baby, the fetal parts show an indication of this syndrome as these parts get entwined and lead to birth deformities. Its complexities and acuteness differ from one person to the other. Let us have a look at a few complications:

  • The baby before birth can have feet and hands that are clubbed.
  • Under this syndrome, the toes and the fingers can result in amputation in digits.
  • If the strings are entwining the face, it can result in split lips, and it can only be cured once the baby is born.
  • There are more chances of amputation in case the legs and arms are contracting.
  • Spinal deformity
  • The strings may lead to the contraction of blood vessels through the important organs of the body.
  • In case the strings untwine over the neck area of the umbilical cord, it can be fatal.

Managing ABS in Pregnancy

No one inherits amniotic Band Syndrome, and it is not always guaranteed that it will affect all pregnancies after the first one. The medical experts always keep a check on the patients suffering through this syndrome and even advise the best probable remedies to avoid any events of any developing injuries.
There are few methods by which ABS can be treated and controlled during pregnancy, and they are as follows:

  • In a situation where the amniotic string touches the baby not leading to any injuries, it is not advised to do any surgery at those places.
  • In case it is fatal for the baby and leads to facial deformities, it is suggested to undergo fetoscopy.
  • If surgery is suggested, a telescope of a very small size is inserted in the mother’s uterus. Theniotic string is cut with a laser technique that helps in the reduction of pressure and even lets the baby develop in the usual manner.
  • One should always increase the knowledge base by discussing with the health experts taking the correct decision, which is suitable for the mother as well as the baby and the family.

Special Considerations During Delivery With ABS

Amniotic Band Syndrome is a situation that happens in one in about 20,00 birth cases. It is believed it happens in early pregnancies and even in later pregnancies from hypothetical casual events during pregnancy. In this syndrome, there are some important points to be considered those are recommended by the doctor, and they are:

  • In case of an ABS syndrome, one needed to go through a C-section. The required discussion should be done regarding the delivery with the doctor beforehand.
  • One can deliver at the hospital in case the baby shows to be performing well at the pre-natal monitoring session.

Thus, the baby needs to be treated after its birth, and the complexities arising from ABS are not generally fatal. Surgeries can enhance the functions of hands, feet, and superficial features. It is important to get in touch with a health expert who can monitor and provide adequate guidance.

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