Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in dermatoglyphics: an increasing number of associations between dermatoglyphic alterations and different diseases (especially chromosomal aberrations) are actually being reported, which is of particular concern to human and medical geneticists, as well as to clinicians and pediatricians.
Having been shown to undergo practically complete genetic conditioning, fingerprints are also being applied, by different authors, to the diagnosis of zygosity in twins.
On the other hand, although, on account of available data, a large impact of heredity may be assumed in their determination, dermatoglyphics as a whole still fail to find a clear genetic definition.
Furthermore, with respect to clinical aspects and applications, a clear quantitative definition of dermatoglyphic alterations, and therefore of dermatoglyphic normality and its variability, is still needed.
Last, but not least, a wider and generalized application of dermatoglyphics to the diagnosis of zygosity in twins would require a clear, morphological and genetic, quantitative definition of each trait, as well as the introduction of simple and standardized statistical methods for calculating the probabilities of monozygosity and dizygosity.