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Harlequin's phenomenon

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A harmless phenomenon characterized by a transient pink to light reddish discoloration that occurs in a symmetric one-half of an infant’s body shortly after birth.

Neligan and Strang first described and named this syndrome in 1952, having observed 22 infants who exhibited the bizarre discoloration. The overall effect is reminiscent of the bold patches of color on a harlequin costume.


  • G. A. Neligan, L. B. Strang:
    «Harlequin» color change in newborn.
    The Lancet, November 22, 1952, 2 (6743): 1005-1007.

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