Potter's sequence describes a number of physical changes in a neonate associated with intrauterine oligohydramnios. A neonate with the physical features should be evaluated for visceral abnormalities.


Alternative terms: Potter's syndrome, oligohydramnios sequence


Clinical findings:

(1) "beak" nose" (flattened with tip curved down, like a bird's beak)

(2) low set ears

(3) receding chin

(4) joint contractures (arthrogryposis)

(5) abnormal bending of the lower extremities (talipes, equinovarus, other)

(6) pulmonary hypoplasia


Conditions associated with Potter's sequence - any cause of oligohydramnios:

(1) bilateral renal aplasia

(2) bilateral renal agenesis

(3) bilateral urinary tract obstruction

(4) bilateral renal dysplasia

(5) polycystic kidney disease with prenatal onset

(6) chronic leakage of amniotic fluid


The physical changes occur because of a loss of the cushioning effect provided by the amniotic fluid, allowing intra-uterine compression to occur.


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