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Am J Med Genet. 1984 Feb;17(2):523-30.

Recurrence rate for de novo 21q21q translocation Down syndrome: a study of 112 families.


Recurrence of de novo GqGq Down syndrome (DS) in nine reported families and the low frequency of this chromosome abnormality in the population prompted this multicenter study to examine recurrence rate. Pedigrees and cytogenetic findings were analyzed from 112 families ascertained by a DS child with de novo GqGq translocation. Four of 112 sets of parents had abnormal cytogenetic findings. One mother and two fathers had a low proportion of mosaicism for trisomy 21 in peripheral lymphocytes. In one of these fathers, fibroblast studies confirmed the mosaicism (others not similarly studied). Two of these three families have one additional child each, both being normal. In the fourth family, the mother is heterozygous for a pericentric inversion of chromosome 21. Ninety of the 112 probands had a total of 130 full sibs and 34 half sibs. None of these 164 sibs was affected; the recurrence rate could still be as high as 2% (with 95% confidence based upon calculation of a one-tailed confidence interval). Because of the latter, the nine reports of recurrence in the literature, and the abnormal cytogenetic findings in peripheral lymphocytes in 4/112 sets of parents (3.6%), we think that caution should be exercised when counseling that the recurrence risk of this event is remote.

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