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J Assoc Genet Technol. 2018;44(4):137-140.

Tissue Specificity in Trisomy 22 Mosaicism: A Tale of Caution for Interpretation of Chromosomal Microarray Results.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, VT.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, VT.


While the complete form of trisomy 22 is seemingly incompatible with life, the mosaic form is a rare syndrome associated with developmental delays, intellectual disability, and dysmorphic features. Due in part to the difficulty of analyzing chromosomal mosaicism, many instances either go undiagnosed or have their diagnosis delayed. We report a case of mosaic trisomy 22 in a diamnionic-dichorionic twin with marked growth discordance and intra-uterine growth restriction, diagnosed in a 2-year-old with developmental delays, sensorineural hearing loss, cardiac and gastrointestinal abnormalities, and osteopenia of prematurity. Evaluation with a chromosomal oligonucleotide microarray with SNP analysis did not detect any copy number variants. Fibroblast metaphase karyotype analysis from a skin biopsy, however, showed trisomy 22 which was confirmed by FISH. Follow-up peripheral blood karyotype analysis and FISH studies revealed a normal male karyotype. This case highlights an instance where classical cytogenetics from two separate tissue types can provide a diagnosis that is more cost-effective than microarray analysis in assessing pediatric developmental delay. Trisomy 22 is the second most common aneuploidy in spontaneous miscarriages and has a nondescript and variable phenotype, especially in cases of mosaicism. As such, this condition may be underdiagnosed using the current recommended testing algorithm. Chromosomal microarray is considered first tier testing in an unrecognized phenotype with whole exome or whole genome sequencing, often performed on peripheral blood, as second tier testing. Diagnoses such as mosaic trisomy 22 suggest the second tier of testing in undiagnosed cases should also include a recommendation to look at alternative tissue types.


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