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Am J Hum Genet. 1998 Oct;63(4):1153-9.

A chromosomal deletion map of human malformations.

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Department of Human and Clinical Genetics, Western General Hospital, Zurich.


Malformations are common causes of pediatric morbidity and mortality, and genetic factors are a significant component of their etiology. Autosomal deletions, in almost all cases, cause a nonspecific embryopathy that presents after birth as growth failure, mental retardation, and multiple malformations. We have constructed a chromosome map of autosomal deletions associated with 47 different congenital malformations, using detailed clinical and cytogenetic information on 1,753 patients with nonmosaic single contiguous autosomal deletions. The 1,753 deletions involved 258 (89%) of 289 possible autosomal bands (by the use of ISCN 400-band nomenclature), giving a total of 4,190 deleted autosomal bands for analysis. We compared the band distributions of deletions associated with common major malformations with the distribution of all 1,753 deletions. We noted 283 positive associations between deleted bands and specific malformations, of which 199 were significant (P<.05, P>.001) and 84 were highly significant (P<.001). These "malformation-associated bands" (MABs) were distributed among 137 malformation-associated chromosome regions (MACRs). An average of 6 MABs in 2.9 MACRs were detected per malformation studied; 18 (6%) of 283 MABs contain a locus known to be associated with the particular malformation. A further 18 (6%) of 283 are in seven recognized specific malformation-associated aneuploid regions. Therefore, 36 (26%) of 137 of the MACRs contain an MAB coinciding with a previously recognized locus or malformation-associated aneuploid region. This map should facilitate identification of genes important in human development.

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