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Am J Med Genet. 1999 Aug 6;85(4):369-75.

Risk of abnormal pregnancy outcome in carriers of balanced reciprocal translocations involving the Miller-Dieker syndrome (MDS) critical region in chromosome 17p13.3.

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  • 1Division of Diabetes, Obesity and Nutrition, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.


We studied the pedigrees of 14 families segregating a reciprocal translocation with one breakpoint in chromosome 17p13 and the other in the distal region of another autosome. All 14 were ascertained on the basis of an affected index case: 13 had Miller-Dieker syndrome (MDS) and one had dup(17p). In these 14 families, 38 balanced translocation carriers had 127 pregnancies, corrected for ascertainment bias by the exclusion of all index cases and carriers in the line of descent to the index cases. An abnormal phentotype, unbalanced chromosome constitution, or both, were found in 33 of 127 (26%) pregnancies: 15 of 127 (12%) had MDS and an unbalanced karyotype with del (17p); 9 of 127 (7%) had a less severe phenotype with dup(17p); and 9 were unstudied, although MDS with der(17) was usually suspected based on early death and multiple congenital anomalies. When unexplained pregnancy losses, including miscarriages and stillbirths, were excluded from the total, 33 of 99 (33%) pregnancies were phenotypically or genotypically abnormal. The overall risk of abnormal pregnancy outcome of 26% is in the upper range of the reported risk for unbalanced offspring of carrier parents assessed through liveborn aneuploid offspring [Gardner and Sutherland (1996), Oxford Univ. Press]. The risk increases to 33% when unexplained pregnancy losses are excluded from the total. These results are consistent with Daniel's model of risk based on the size of the unbalanced fragments [Daniel (1985) Clin Genet 28:216-224, Daniel et al. (1989) Am J Med Genet 31:14-53]. Pregnancy losses included 26 miscarriages (20%) and two stillbirths (2%) among the 127 pregnancies, similar to the respective population frequencies of 10-20% and 1%.

Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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