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Ann Genet. 2000 Jan-Mar;43(1):23-8.

Origin of trisomy 21 in Down syndrome cases from a Spanish population registry.

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Genetic's Laboratory, Corporació Sanitaria Parc Taulí, Parc Tauli, s/n, 08208, Sabadell, Spain.


We have carried out a population-based study on the origin of the extra chromosome 21 in 38 families with Down syndrome (DS) offspring in El Vallès (Spain). From 1991 to 1994, a higher prevalence of DS (22.7/10000 live births, stillbirths and induced abortions) was found compared to the majority of EUROCAT registries. The distribution of trisomy 21 by origin was 88% maternal (90.6% meiosis I, 6.2% meiosis II, 3.1% maternal mosaicism), 5.6% paternal (50% meiosis I, 50% meiosis II) and 5.6% mitotic. The percentage of parental mosaicism was 2.7%. These percentages are similar to those previously reported. Recombination study revealed a maternal meiosis I genetic map of 32.68 cM (approximately one-half the length of the normal female map). Mean maternal age among non-recombinant cases involving MI errors was significantly lower (31.1 years) than among those cases showing one observable crossover (36.1 years) (P<0.05); this could support the hypothesis that 'achiasmate' chromosomes may be subject to aberrant segregation regardless of maternal age.

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