Epicanthic fold

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Epicanthic fold
Epicanthic KR02.jpg
A South Korean person with the skin fold of the upper eyelid covering the inner angle of the eye[1]
Synonyms Epicanthal fold, epicanthus, eye fold,[3] Mongolian fold,[4] palpebronasal fold[5]
Latin Plica palpebronasalis[2]
TA A15.2.07.028
FMA 59370
Anatomical terminology

The epicanthic fold is the skin fold of the upper eyelid, covering the inner corner (medial canthus) of the eye. One of the primary facial features that are often closely associated with the epicanthic fold is elevation of the nasal bridge. There are various factors that influence whether epicanthic folds are formed, including ancestry, age, and certain medical conditions.


Geographic distribution[edit]

A Sami man with an external epicanthic fold in Finland, historically referred to as a "Nordic fold".[4]
An Uyghur girl with an epicanthic fold in Turpan, Xinjiang, China
A Khoisan man with an epicanthic fold in Namibia

Epicanthic folds appear in East Asians, Southeast Asians, Central Asians, North Asians, some South Asians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indigenous Americans (as well as Mestizos), the Khoisan, Malagasy, occasionally Europeans (e.g., Scandinavians, Hungarians, Samis, Irish[6] and Poles)[7][8] and among Nilotes.[9]

Anthropologist Carleton S. Coon states that the "median fold" occurs in Finnic and Slavic populations, while the "true inner or mongoloid fold" appears in populations of the east and the far north.[10]


Many fetuses lose their epicanthic folds after three to six months of gestation.[11][non-primary source needed]

Medical conditions[edit]

Epicanthic fold is sometimes found as a congenital abnormality.[1] Medical conditions that cause the nasal bridge not to mature and project are associated with epicanthic folds. About 60% of individuals with Down syndrome (also called as trisomy 21) have prominent epicanthic folds.[12][13] In 1862, John Langdon Down classified what is now called Down syndrome. He used the term mongoloid for the condition. This was derived from then-prevailing ethnic theory[14] and from his perception that children with Down syndrome shared physical facial similarities (epicanthic folds) with those of Blumenbach's Mongolian race. While the term "mongoloid" (also "mongol" or "mongoloid idiot") continued to be used until the early 1970s, it is now considered pejorative and inaccurate and is no longer in common use about medical conditions.[15]

In Zellweger syndrome, epicanthic folds are prominent.[16] Other examples are fetal alcohol syndrome, phenylketonuria, and Turner syndrome.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "epicanthic". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "AllRefer Health - Epicanthal Folds (Plica Palpebronasalis)". AllRefer.com. Archived from the original on 12 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  3. ^ "Eye fold". 
  4. ^ a b https://books.google.com/books?id=AkH911DbJf4C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
  5. ^ "Palpebronasal Fold - Medical Dictionary Search". Stedman's Medical Dictionary. 2006. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  6. ^ "Q&A". The New York Times. 1985-10-08. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-11-12. 
  7. ^ "epicanthic fold (anatomy)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Montagu, A. (1989). Growing Young. Bergin & Garvey: CT.
  9. ^ "Mongolism in Sudanese children". Journal of Tropical Pediatrics. 8: 48–50. September 1962. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.tropej.a057626. PMID 13905256. 
  10. ^ Coon, Carleton S. The Races of Europe. Distribution of Bodily Characters.
  11. ^ Park JI (2000-01-01). "Modified Z-Epicanthoplasty in the Asian Eyelid". Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery. 2 (1): 43–47. doi:10.1001/archfaci.2.1.43. ISSN 1521-2491. 
  12. ^ Hammer, edited by Stephen J. McPhee, Gary D. (2010). "Pathophysiology of Selected Genetic Diseases". Pathophysiology of disease : an introduction to clinical medicine (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical. pp. Chapter 2. ISBN 978-0-07-162167-0. 
  13. ^ Pham, V. (2010). COMMON OTOLARYNGOLOGICAL CONGENITAL ABNORMALITIES. UTMB, Dept. of Otolaryngology. [1]
  14. ^ Conor, WO (1999). "John Langdon Down: The Man and the Message". Down Syndrome Research and Practice. 6 (1): 19–24. doi:10.3104/perspectives.94. 
  15. ^ Howard-Jones, Norman (1979). "On the diagnostic term "Down's disease"". Medical History. 23 (1): 102–04. doi:10.1017/s0025727300051048. PMC 1082401Freely accessible. PMID 153994. 
  16. ^ Kalyanasundaram, S. (2010). Peroxisomal Disorder-Unusual Presentation as Failure to Thrive in Early Infancy. In Indian Journal of Pediatrics. 77:1151–1152
  17. ^ Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. "Epicanthal folds". nih.gov. 

External links[edit]