Prenatal sonographic diagnosis of the 49,XXXXY syndrome

Caroline Schluth, Bérénice Doray, Françoise Girard-Lemaire, Monique Kohler, Bruno Langer, Bernard Gasser, Véronique Lindner, Elisabeth Flori
Prenatal Diagnosis 2002, 22 (13): 1177-80
The 49,XXXXY syndrome is a rare sex chromosome anomaly with an approximate incidence of 1 in 85,000 male live births. The diagnosis is usually ascertained postnatally by the association of mental retardation, variable growth deficiency, Down syndrome-like facial dysmorphy, hypogenitalism and other malformations, especially involving the heart and skeleton. Prenatal diagnosis of the pentasomy 49,XXXXY is generally fortuitous and sonographic features have rarely been described in the literature. We report here on two cases of 49,XXXXY syndrome diagnosed prenatally because of sonographic abnormalities. In the first, amniocentesis was performed at 26 weeks' gestation for polyhydramnios, unilateral clubfoot and micropenis. In the second, a karyotype was carried out on chorionic villi at 13 weeks' gestation for cystic hygroma. These observations and the six previously reported cases demonstrate that cystic hygroma in first or second trimester of pregnancy may be associated with sex chromosome aneuploidy other than Turner syndrome. Moreover, they emphasize the importance of detailed sonographic examination in the second trimester, as small penis and abnormal posturing of the lower extremities are very suggestive of the 49,XXXXY syndrome.

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