Ullrich-Turner syndrome (UTS) is a common chromosomal abnormality caused by partial or complete X chromosome monosomy. One half of the patients have a 45,X karyotype, whereas the remaining patients display other X chromosome anomalies. In 6% to 11% of UTS, a normal or partly deleted Y chromosome has been found. A 10% to 30% risk of developing gonadoblastoma was found in the latter patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Y chromosome-derived material, the occurrence of gonadoblastoma, and the incidence of possible neoplasms in patients with UTS. Of 217 patients studied with UTS and chromosome analysis of peripheral-blood lymphocytes, Y chromosome material was found in 20 patients. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) testing was performed to characterize the structurally abnormal Y chromosome in 13 cases. Molecular analysis of the SRY gene could only be performed in 20 patients with 45,X karyotype. Two patients had the SRY genomes. Of the 20 patients with Y chromosome-derived material, 17 underwent gonadectomy. The incidence of gonadoblastoma development in our series was 35.5%. Furthermore, 1 patient also showed a pure dysgerminoma, and another showed a mixed dysgerminoma and embryonal carcinoma. We emphasize the importance of complete processing of the gonadectomy specimen, including step sections, molecular studies, and FISH, in addition to the classic cytogenetic searching for Y chromosome sequences, in patients who present with a nonmosaic 45,X karyotype. Finally, we propose to routinely collect a sample for storage in the tumor bank for future studies.
Keywords: Ullrich-Turner syndrome; Y chromosome; gonadal dysgenesis; gonadectomy; gonadoblastoma; mosaicism.