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Prenat Diagn. 2001 Dec;21(12):1034-48.

Karyotype, phenotype and parental origin in 19 cases of triploidy.

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Department of Cytogenetics, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Parramatta, NSW 2145, Australia.


The parental origin of triploidy in 19 cases was examined by inheritance of DNA microsatellites and by methylation patterns of SNRPN or PW71 (where parents' blood was unavailable). The fetal and placental morphology on these cases was reviewed. The phenotype of the fetuses with non-mosaic triploidy was assessed in relation to the two types described by McFadden and Kalousek. Of the diandric fetuses three of the six showed mild-to-moderate symmetrical growth retardation and the other three had growth characteristics in accordance with their gestational ages. This study would suggest the fetal triploid 'Type 1' definition be modified to 'well grown to moderate symmetrical IUGR' to allow for such variation. In the digynic fetuses (McFadden/Kalousek Type 2) there were poor growth characteristics with IUGR being more severe and asymmetrical. The diandric fetuses were as common as digynic fetuses in this series. The ratio of diandric to digynic specimens was 11:8 but if only fetal specimens (not embryos or mosaic children) were included the ratio was 6:5. Many diandric conceptions end as partial moles but later in gestation diandric fetuses may be well grown. It is proposed that there may be a survival barrier for diandric fetuses early in gestation (possibly based on the proportion of vascularised placental villi), although once this is passed the diandric fetuses are comparatively more viable and better grown than digynic fetuses. In the XXY triploid fetuses, 5/6 had hypoplastic or ambiguous external genitalia (two were recorded as of female phenotype) as has been reported previously. In these, the gonadal histology was testicular in all the diandrics but in the single digynic XXY case, sex reversal was complete with normal uterus and Fallopian tubes and the gonads were histologically ovaries. Two triploid/diploid mosaics were proven to be due to digyny. The probable cause is delayed incorporation of the second polar body into a blastomere and there was evidence of identical alleles from the same sperm being present in both diploid and triploid cells. In one of these triploid/diploid mosaics in which there was a termination of pregnancy (TOP) after prenatal karyotyping the diploid cell line had trisomy 16 which was not evident in the triploid line. This trisomy was probably of post-zygotic origin and we suggest the fetus was rescued by the prominence of the triploid line.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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