We report a further case of trisomy 4p: a 5-year-old mentally retarded boy with characteristic facial features, eye abnormalities, flexion contractures, several bone anomalies, and hyperactivity. In a review of 27 cases (11 male, 16 female, 22 families) the cytogenetic and clinical data were tabulated and analyzed. Diagnosis is established by karyotype: there is always partial or apparently "total" trisomy of the short term arm of chromosome 4. In 19 families a parent carried either a balanced translocation (16 times) or a pericentric inversion (3 times); 3 patients had de novo duplication of 4p. In several cases, additional deletions or trisomies were present. From the analysis of all cases, but particularly of the "pure" trisomies, the phenotypic spectrum of this condition was observed and found to be a specific multiple congenital anomaly/mental retardation (MCA/MR) syndrome. Its main features are a characteristic facial appearance, postnatal growth retardation, severe psychomotor retardation with or without seizures, microcephaly, and various major and minor anomalies.