Cancer-prone syndrome of mosaic variegated aneuploidy and total premature chromatid separation: report of five infants

Am J Med Genet. 2001 Nov 15;104(1):57-64. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.1580.


Five infants (two girls and three boys) from four families all had severe pre- and postnatal growth retardation, profound developmental delay, microcephaly, hypoplasia of the brain with Dandy-Walker complex or other posterior fossa malformations, and developed uncontrollable clonic seizures. Four infants developed Wilms tumors, and one showed cystic lesions in bilateral kidneys. All five infants showed variegated mosaic aneuploidy in cultured lymphocytes. In two infants whose chromosomes were prepared by us, 48.5%-83.2% lymphocytes showed total premature chromatid separation (PCS). Their parents had 3.5%-41.7% of their lymphocytes in total PCS. The remaining three infants and their parents, whose chromosomes were prepared at outside laboratories, tended to show lower frequencies of total PCS. Another five infants reported with the disorder were reviewed together with the five infants we described. Together, their clinical and cytogenetic manifestations were similar enough to suggest a syndrome. Seven of the 10 infants developed proven or probable Wilms tumors. The age at diagnosis of the tumors was younger than usual at 2-16 months. The tumors were bilateral in four infants and unilateral in three infants, and cystic changes were present in six infants. Two infants developed botryoid rhabdomyosarcoma. The carriers of the syndrome are thus liable to tumorigenesis. The possible role of mitotic checkpoint defects, proven in two infants with the syndrome (Matsuura et al. [2000: Am J Hum Genet 69:483-486]), was discussed in connection with tumor development and progression.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Aneuploidy*
  • Chromatids*
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome / genetics
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Mosaicism
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / genetics
  • Syndrome
  • Wilms Tumor / genetics