A rec(8) dup(q) syndrome, secondary to a pericentric inversion--inv(8)(p23q22)--has been identified in 26 probands from Hispanic kindreds in the southwestern United States. The clinical phenotype of the Hispanic rec(8) syndrome includes a dysmorphic facies, cardiovascular and urinary-tract malformations, and mental retardation. Segregation analysis utilizing pedigree and cytogenetic data from 31 kindreds including five additional kindreds from additional sources has provided computation of genetic risks for counseling. An inv(8) carrier parent has a 6.2% risk of having a rec(8) child. The transmission rate of the inv(8) was significantly higher for inv(8) carrier mothers (59%) than for carrier fathers (42%). The combined transmission rate for both sexes was 53%. Risk for spontaneous abortion or stillbirth (11.3%) was not higher than the general population frequency of 13%-15%. It is significant that all kindreds identified to date are of Hispanic background with ancestors traced to the southern Colorado/northern New Mexico region. By means of extended pedigree information, three independently ascertained kindreds have been linked through common ancestry 4 generations in ascendance. The Hispanic background, geographic localization, and common ancestry in three kindreds suggest a single founder of the Hispanic inv(8) in the Southwest.