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Am J Med Genet. 1998 Apr 1;76(4):283-7.

PCR detection of Y-specific sequences in patients with Ullrich-Turner syndrome: clinical implications and limitations.

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  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, Russian Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education, Moscow.


Cytogenetic analysis of patients with Ullrich-Turner syndrome (UTS) may fail to detect low levels of Y chromosome mosaicism or Y-derived marker chromosomes. More sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based tests have been developed; however, applicability of these data to prognosis of virilization and gonadoblastoma development has not been investigated adequately. We used a multiplex PCR-based method to detect two Y-specific sequences, SRY and AMGLY. Thirteen patients with UTS without cytogenetically detected Y chromosomes were studied. Y-specific sequences were detected in 5 patients by multiplex PCR. A cryptic translocation involving the Y chromosome was found in one patient with severe virilization of external genitalia and a male phenotype. Y chromosomal mosaicism was detected in peripheral blood and in both gonads of one patient, and only in the left gonad of another patient. Existence of a Y-derived marker was demonstrated in 2 patients, one of whom had no testicular tissue or virilization. Consistent with previous reports, we conclude that PCR is more sensitive than classical cytogenetic analysis and detects patients with Y-specific sequences in blood cells. However, the absence of Y-specific material in blood is not a sufficient reason to reject surgical treatment in case of virilization.

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