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Alternative Names Return to topPotter phenotype
Definition Return to top
Potter syndrome and Potter phenotype refers to a group of findings associated with a lack of amniotic fluid and kidney failure in an unborn infant.
Causes Return to top
In Potter syndrome, the primary problem is kidney failure. The kidneys fail to develop properly as the baby is growing in the womb. The kidneys normally produce the amniotic fluid (as urine).
Potter phenotype refers to a typical facial appearance that occurs in a newborn when there is no amniotic fluid. The lack of amniotic fluid is called oligohydramnios. Without amniotic fluid, the infant is not cushioned from the walls of the uterus. The pressure of the uterine wall leads to an unusual facial appearance, including widely separated eyes .
Potter phenotype may also lead to abnormal limbs, or limbs that are held in abnormal positions or contractures.
Oligohydramnios also stops development of the lungs, so the lungs do not work properly at birth.
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
A pregnancy ultrasound may show lack of amniotic fluid, absence of fetal kidneys, or severely abnormal kidneys in the unborn baby.
The following tests may be used to help diagnose the condition in a newborn:
Treatment Return to top
Resuscitation at delivery may be attempted pending the diagnosis. Treatment will be provided for any urinary outlet obstruction.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
This is a very serious condition, usually deadly. The short term outcome depends on the severity of lung involvement. Long term outcome depends on the severity of kidney involvement.
Prevention Return to top
There is no known prevention.
References Return to top
Behrman RE. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 17th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2004.Update Date: 7/26/2007 Updated by: Daniel Rauch, M.D., FAAP., Director, Pediatric Hospitalist Program, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.