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J Med Genet. 2003 Mar;40(3):175-82.

Clinical aspects, prenatal diagnosis, and pathogenesis of trisomy 16 mosaicism.

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MD/PhD and Experimental Medicine Programs, University of British Columbia and the British Columbia Research Institute for Children's and Women's Health, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



Analysis of data from cases of trisomy mosaicism can provide insight for genetic counselling after prenatal diagnosis and for the elucidation of the pathogenesis of trisomy during pregnancy.


Statistical analysis was carried out on data from 162 cases of pregnancies with prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 16 mosaicism.


The majority of cases resulted in live birth (66%) with an average gestational age of 35.7 weeks and average birth weight of -1.93 standard deviations from the population mean. Among the live births 45% had at least one malformation, the most common being VSD, ASD, and hypospadias. The level of trisomy on direct CVS (cytotrophoblast) was associated with more severe intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and higher risk of malformation, while the level of trisomy on cultured CVS (chorionic villous stroma) was associated only with more severe IUGR. Similarly, the presence of trisomy on amniocentesis (amniotic fluid) was associated with both IUGR and malformation, while the presence of trisomy in the amniotic mesenchyme was associated only with IUGR. Surprisingly, the degree of trisomy in placental tissues appeared to be independent of the degree of trisomy in amniotic fluid and amniotic mesenchyme. The sex of the fetus was not associated with any outcome variables, although there was an excess of females (sex ratio = 0.45) that may be explained by selection against male mosaic trisomy 16 embryos before the time of CVS (approximately 9-12 weeks).


The levels of trisomy in different fetal-placental tissues are significant predictors of some measures of outcome in mosaic trisomy 16 pregnancies.

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