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Prenat Diagn. 2000 Sep;20(9):754-7.

Prenatal diagnosis and genetic analysis of X chromosome polysomy 49, XXXXY.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.


We report on the prenatal diagnosis, genetic analysis and clinical manifestations of a 49,XXXXY fetus. A 31-year-old, primigravida woman was referred for genetic counselling at 17 weeks' gestation with the sonographic findings of intrauterine growth retardation, generalized oedema, a large septated cystic hygroma colli measuring 5x4 cm, and abnormal posturing of the lower extremities. Quantitative fluorescent polymerase chain reaction (QF-PCR) with small tandem repeat (STR) markers specific for chromosome X and a pentanucleotide marker X22 for the Xq/Yq pseudoautosomal region PAR2 rapidly detected the X-chromosome polysomy from amniotic fluid cells. This abnormality appeared to arise from successive non-disjunction during maternal meiosis I and meiosis II. Cytogenetic analysis revealed a karyotype of 49,XXXXY. Our case shows that a 49,XXXXY fetus in the second trimester may demonstrate hydrops fetalis and a large septated cystic hygroma colli by prenatal ultrasound. Our case also shows that QF-PCR assays with sex chromosome specific STR markers provide rapid prenatal diagnosis of numerical sex chromosome aneuploidy as well as its genetic cause in fetal cystic hygroma.

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