Example of a normal male karyotype, denoted 46,XY

  • 46 refers to the total number of chromosomes
  • XY indicates a male karyotype; XX would indicate a female karyotype

A normal human karyotype consists of 22 pairs of autosomes and two sex chromosomes. Note the similar size and striped (banding) pattern between each of the pairs. The autosomal chromosome pairs are numbered and arranged from largest to smallest. Bending and curling of the chromosomes are typically observed and do not represent an abnormality.


Posted: 12-31-03

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From: Illustrated Glossary

Cover of GeneReviews®
GeneReviews® [Internet].
Pagon RA, Adam MP, Ardinger HH, et al., editors.
Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2015.
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