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Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1999 Dec;115(2):106-13.

Discordant detection of monosomy 7 by GTG-banding and FISH in a patient with Shwachman-Diamond syndrome without evidence of myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myelogenous leukemia.

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Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.


The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of hematologic disorders commonly affecting elderly persons and often leading to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Although rare in children, when MDS does occur, it is frequently part of a congenital disorder such as Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS). Monosomy 7 and/or deletion of part or all of 7q are poor prognostic signs in MDS and AML, although the pathophysiologic relationship between this finding and MDS or AML is unclear. Shwachman-Diamond syndrome is an inherited illness characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and by congenital neutropenia. Patients with SDS are at increased risk of developing myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Because monosomy 7 is a poor prognostic sign in MDS and AML, establishing its presence is important. However, different methods of detection of monosomy 7 may lead to different results in some patients. We present the case of a 10-year-old girl known to have SDS, who had a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy done to rule out MDS and AML. By light microscopy, the patient's bone marrow was unremarkable. GTG-banding showed the following karyotype: 45,XX,-C[3]/47,XX,+C[1]/46,XX[45]. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed with a chromosome 7-specific alpha-satellite probe (D7Z1). Almost all (373 of 376) cells exhibited only one chromosome 7 signal. A second marrow aspiration done 6 months later showed an essentially normal karyotype by GTG-banding. Fluorescence in situ hybridization with the same chromosome 7 probe showed 230 of 250 cells to be monosomic for chromosome 7. A whole chromosome 7 painting probe demonstrated disomy for chromosome 7 in 90 of 90 cells; however, subtle heteromorphism in the centromeric regions of the 2 copies of chromosome 7 was noted in some cells. This case demonstrates that FISH and GTG-banding can give discordant results, that the two should be viewed as complementary technologies, and that both have a place in a full karyotypic analysis. Furthermore, this case demonstrates for the first time that heteromorphism and/or subtle structural abnormalities of chromosome 7, previously associated with MDS and AML, can exist without clinical or morphologic signs of these illnesses. It will be of interest to further study the relationship, if any, between SDS and various structural abnormalities of chromosome 7 in MDS and AML, and to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, physiology, and treatment of these disorders.

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