Genetic Birth Defects

About 20 percent of birth defects are caused by genetic or hereditary factors. Every human body cell contains 46 chromosomes, and each chromosome contains thousands of genes.

Each gene contains a blueprint that controls development or function of a particular body part. People who have either too many or too few chromosomes will therefore receive a scrambled message regarding body development and function.

Since each of the genes on the chromosomes controls the structure and function of a body part, people with defective genes will show defects in the corresponding body part. These abnormal genes often cause hereditary disorders that pass down within a family.

Article Index:

Vascular Malformations and Hemangiomas

What is a hemangioma?

A hemangioma is a type of birthmark. It is the most common benign (non-cancerous) tumor of the skin. Hemangiomas may be present at birth (faint red mark) or may appear in the first months after birth. A hemangioma is also known as a port wine stain, strawberry hemangioma, and salmon patch.