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Indian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Research

A case of pregnancy associated with the rare yellow nail syndrome: An overview and review of literature

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Case Report

Author Details : Swati Francis*, Mayadevi Kurup Kurup, Surya Jayaram

Volume : 7, Issue : 2, Year : 2020

Article Page : 280-282

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Background: The yellow and dystrophic nails, lymphedema along with pleural effusion, resulting from malformations of the
lymphatic system. The first case of yellow nail syndrome was probably reported by Heller in 1927, but
Samman & White described the first series of patients who had yellow nails associated with lymphedema
in 1964. 1The pathogenesis of YNS still remains poorly defined. The diagnosis is established on the basis of
characteristic clinical features including abnormal nails, lymphedema and any respiratory manifestations.
The clinical course is usually benign, and current treatment plan aims at controlling the various clinical
manifestations of this obscure disease process.
Case Presentation: Here we report an antenatal case who reported to us in her third trimester for
safe confinement and delivery, already a diagnosed case of yellow nail syndrome with occasional bouts
of cough on and off with no associated breathlessness. She had associated gross bilateral lower limb
oedema and characteristic yellow nail changes. Physical examination revealed uterus corresponding to
term gestation, relaxed and fatal heart sound good. She never had any history of associated chest pain,
palpitation, haemoptysis or required hospitalization for these episodes. She gives no further association
with exacerbations of any respiratory ailments.
Antenatal scan along with Doppler study revealed Breech presentation at 37-38 weeks gestation, normal
Doppler, a small subserous fibroid 5x4 cms near to fundus noted. The patient was taken up for an elective
caesarean section in view of the present condition of the patient and the further anticipated complications.
Our case gives a glimpse of the pregnancy associated with this rare syndrome where appropriate medical
treatment for their respiratory symptoms and oedema should be carried out and close monitoring of the
patient is of utmost requirement in view of the anticipated complications.
Discussion: The yellow nail syndrome (YNS) is a rare disorder of unknown cause characterized by the triad
of yellow and thickened nails, lymphedema and respiratory manifestations. The pathogenesis along with
clinical presentations and natural history of this disorder remain, for the most part, obscure. Owing to the
absence of large-scale studies in relation to YNS, there is no consensus on treatment strategy. Management
decisions are typically based on anecdotal evidence, case reports and intuition. Treatment is predominantly
supportive, but it should be further noted that successful treatment of one component of the triad often
causes symptomatic improvement in the others.
Conclusion: The YNS remains a rare and intriguing disorder of unknown cause. Lymphatic dysfunction
probably represents the pathogenic mechanism responsible for the various clinical manifestations
associated with this disorder. Most clinical manifestations of YNS are generally managed symptomatically
with supportive measures, and the long-term prognosis generally appears favourable.

Keywords: Yellow nail syndrome, Respiratory manifestations, Lymphedema.

Doi : 10.18231/j.ijogr.2020.060

How to cite : Francis S, Kurup M K, Jayaram S, A case of pregnancy associated with the rare yellow nail syndrome: An overview and review of literature. Indian J Obstet Gynecol Res 2020;7(2):280-282

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