Background: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a malignant disease of as yet an unknown origin. Researchers in the past have studied the association between dermatoglyphic features in the hand and congenital diseases and diseases with genetic influences. Objective: The present research is intended to study the association between acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and palmar dermatoglyphic characteristics to assess the value of dermatoglyphics as a screening tool to detect leukemia in high risk groups. Methods: Case-control study conducted at the department of Pediatrics, KMC Attavara, a tertiary care teaching hospital of Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore (Manipal University), India during 2006. Twenty-four children suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia were included in the study. The dermatoglyhic features (ab- ridge count, atd, tda and dat angles) of their palm prints were compared with the age and sex matched controls. Results: The present research indicates an association between dermatoglyphic features and ALL. The mean ab-ridge count, and the mean atd - angle were observed to be higher in cases while the mean tda - angle was found to be lower in cases than controls. Conclusions: The findings of the present research are suggestive of a possible trend and an association of dermatoglyphic features with children suffering from ALL. Similar studies can be useful in rare forensic case work where the association of dermatoglyphic features with certain diseases is to be explored. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.