Split hand foot malformation (SHFM) also known as central ray deficiency, ectrodactyly and cleft hand/foot, is one of the most complex of limb malformations. SHFM can occur as an isolated malformation or in association with other malformations, as in the ectrodactyly-ectodermal dysplasia-clefting (EEC) syndrome and other autosomal dominant conditions with long bone involvement, all showing variable expressivity and reduced penetrance. The deficiency in SHFM patients can also be accompanied by other distal limb anomalies including polydactyly and/or syndactyly. This variability causes the phenotypic classification of SHFM to be far from straightforward and genetic heterogeneity, with at least five loci identified to date, further complicates management of affected patients and their families. Although genotypic–phenotypic correlations have been proposed at the molecular level for SHFM4 patients who have mutations in the P63 gene, phenotypic correlations at the chromosomal level have not been thoroughly documented. Using descriptive epidemiology, Chi square and discriminant function analyses, our laboratory has identified phenotypic patterns associated with the mapped genetic SHFM loci. These findings can assist in classification, provide insight into responsible developmental genes and assist in directing mapping efforts and targeted genetic testing, resulting in more accurate information for family members in the clinical setting. Comparison with relevant animal models is discussed. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.