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Isr Med Assoc J. 2008 Jun;10(6):445-7.

Dupuytren's palmar contracture in women.

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Unit of Hand Surgery, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.



Dupuytren's disease is a fibroproliferative disorder of the palmar fascia that can cause disabling digital contractures. The pathogensis of the disease is still unclear, and it afflicts predominantly white males of northern European origin. Gender-related differences of Dupuytren's disease and the distinctive characteristics of the disease in females are not yet well defined.


To evaluate and illustrate the distinctive characteristics of Dupuytren's disease in females.


A retrospective study was performed of all female patients with Dupuytren's disease seen and followed at our Hand Surgery Unit over a 20 year period. The study group consisted of 48 women (56 hands). The collected data included clinical and epidemiological features on admission, and outcome of surgical intervention.


Of the 48 women (56 hands) with Dupuytren's disease, 23 (26 hands) underwent limited fasciectomy. The average age at presentation was 60.1 years. A few of the patients originated from Asia and Africa. Manifestations and pattern of the disease were nearly comparable to those observed in the male group, except for a slightly higher incidence of proximal interphalangeal joint contracture in female patients. Generally, females expressed less severe contractures on presentation and a slower progression thereafter. A favorable functional postoperative outcome was observed. Seven patients had minor complications including local hematoma and painful scars. Two patients developed moderate signs of complex regional pain syndrome.


Further investigations are needed to assess the potential role of androgens in the pathogenesis of Dupuytren's disease, and a possible protective role of estrogenic hormones, rendering Dupuytren's contracture a postmenopausal affliction.

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