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Rom J Intern Med. 1996 Jul-Dec;34(3-4):271-8.

Diagonal earlobe crease: a coronary risk factor, a genetic marker of coronary heart disease, or a mere wrinkle. Ancient Greco-Roman evidence.

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Clinic of Internal Medicine, Griviţa Hospital, Bucharest, Romania.


In a new study on the relationship between the diagonal earlobe crease (DELC), first described by Frank in 1973, and the presence of chronic ischemic heart disease, four main hypotheses are presented. Hypothesis 1: DELC is a coronary risk factor or a marker of coronary risk factor. Hypothesis 2: DELC is a genetic marker of atherosclerotic coronary disease. Hypothesis 3: DELC is, in fact, the result of aging and the relationship with atherosclerotic coronary disease is mere coincidence. Hypothesis 4: DELC is an anatomic peculiarity of the ear lobe, perhaps the result of a particular way of sleeping. These hypotheses are discussed in the light of the most important results obtained so far, in the literature and in the author's personal studies. Moreover, the data reported by Petrakis, who was the first to mention in 1980 the presence of this sign in some of the Greco-Roman sculptures in the museums of Rome, are corroborated by the observations of one of the authors, made in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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