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Abstract: TH-PO330

Altered Fingerprint Patterns: Revelation of an Unexplored Phenomenon in Patients Receiving Maintenance Hemodialysis

Session Information

Category: Dialysis

  • 701 Dialysis: Hemodialysis and Frequent Dialysis


  • Mogili, Hari Krishna reddy, Sri venkateswara institute of medical sciences, TIRUPATI, India
  • Jamalpuri, Indirakshi Jamalpuri, Sri venkateswara institute of medical sciences, TIRUPATI, India
  • Koratala, Abhilash, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States

Epidermal ridge patterns on fingers, commonly known as fingerprints, are not only unique to each individual, but are also thought to remain unchanged over time. As such, they are one of the most commonly used means for identification. In our maintenance hemodialysis [HD] program, an unexpectedly high number of patients reported experiencing difficulty using fingerprints as a biometric for identification. This observation prompted a study to explore whether there are alterations in the papillary ridges in HD population and if so, evaluate its magnitude.


In this cross-sectional study, a total of 300 subjects including 150 patients receiving HD and an equal number of healthy controls [HC] were enrolled from October 2016 to March 2017. The fingerprints were obtained from all 10 fingers and were analyzed for clarity and pattern. They were classified as intact, partially lost, and completely lost. Based on their occupation, the subjects were categorized into 3 groups: ‘Blue-collar’ [BC], ‘White-collar’ [WC], and ‘unemployed’ [UE]. The patterns of fingerprints (i.e. loops, whorls, and arches) were identified and compared for each group.


The mean age of the HD population and the HC were 46.8 and 47.2 years respectively (72% men in each group). The BC, WC, and UE proportions in the HD group were 70, 30, and 23% respectively, while they were 38, 62, and 20 in the HC. Fingerprint clarity was normal in 76.6 and 98.7% of the HD population and HC respectively (p<0.009). Partially lost fingerprints were detected in 13.3% of the HD group and 1.3% of the HC (p<0.001). While the prints were completely lost in 10% of the HD group, none of the HC was found with found to have lost patterns. Loss of fingerprints was more common in those with BC than WC.


While patients receiving maintenance HD can host a multitude of specific and non-specific skin conditions, to our knowledge, this is the first study on altered fingerprints in this patient population. It shows that compared to HC, a significant number of HD patients lose their fingerprint patterns partially or completely over time. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings, identify the pathophysiology and contributing factors, and explore its potential correlation with common comorbidities in this setting.