Dermatoglyphics, the study of skin ridge patterns have been useful for personal identification and also applied as a preliminary supplementary diagnostic tool in unveiling basic biological problems with genetic aetiologies. Azoospermia/severe oligospermia and primary infertility/primary amenorrhoea are suspected to have multifactorial (genetic and environmental) aetiologies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the fingerprint patterns and ridge counts of a total of one hundred and sixty (160) subjects attending the In-vitro fertilization Centre, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo State Nigeria. The infertile patients (80) comprised forty (40) azoospermic/severe oligospermic males and forty (40) females with primary infertility/primary amenorrhoea. Their fingerprint patterns and ridge counts were compared with equal number of healthy age-matched control subjects (40 each) of both sexes. The fingerprint patterns and ridge counts were evaluated using a computer based Hp Scanjet scanner and AutoCAD computer software. The data collected were subjected to Chi-square and analysis of variance at 95 % confidence interval.The results showed differences in fingerprint patterns and ridge counts with the arch and whorl patterns insignificantly (p>0.05) lesser in the infertile group compared to control. The ulnar was insignificantly (p>0.05) more in infertile group while the radial loop was significantly (p<0.05) more in infertile group compared to control. Among the males, the distribution of radial loop and whorl was significantly (p<0.05) different while in the females, the distribution of arch and whorl was also significantly (p<0.05) different compared to control. The total finger ridge count was insignificantly (p>0.05) greater in azoospermic/severe oligospermic males but was significantly (p<0.05) greater in females with primary infertility/primary amenorrhoea compared to control. The inference from this study is that there is significant correlation between the pattern of fingerprint distributions and ridge counts in males and females with primary infertility attending the In-vitro Fertilization Centre, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin-City. Nigeria.
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