The "cat eye syndrome": dicentric small marker chromosome probably derived from a no.22 (tetrasomy 22pter to q11) associated with a characteristic phenotype. Report of 11 patients and delineation of the clinical picture

Hum Genet. 1981;57(2):148-58. doi: 10.1007/BF00282012.


Eleven patients with the so-called Cat Eye syndrome are reported including a more detailed description of the original cases reported by Schmid and Fraccaro. All cases had, in addition to a normal karyotype, a small extra G-like chromosome which appeared to be an isochromosome for the juxtacentromeric region (pter to q11) of an acrocentric chromosome. None were mosaics. Clinical findings and further cytogenetic studies in a few cases suggest that these markers probably derive from a No. 22 chromosome. Characteristic features of the Cat Eye syndrome in these 11 patients and those reviewed from the literature are: ocular coloboma which may involve the iris, choroid and/or optic nerve, preauricular skin tags and/or pits which are probably the most consistent feature, congenital heart defect, anal atresia with a fistula, renal malformations such as unilateral absence, unilateral or bilateral hypoplasia, and cystic dysplasia, and antimongoloid position of eyes. Intelligence is usually low-normal, although moderate retardation is also seen. There is great variability in the clinical findings ranging from near normal to lethal malformations. Less frequent, but also characteristic findings are: microphthalmia, microtia with atresia of the external auditory canal, intrahepatic or extrahepatic biliary atresia and malrotation of the gut. Direct transmission of the marker from one generation to the other was observed in both sexes. In those families, there was considerable variability in the clinical findings between affected family members. These cases show that there is a bias of ascertainment for patients who have the more striking malformations, especially those with ocular coloboma and anal atresia, a combination which appears to be present in only a minority of cases. Many mildly affected patients probably remain undetected. It is proposed that the term Cat Eye syndrome should be applied only to cases with trisomy or tetrasomy of not more than 22pter to q11 and without additional duplication or deletion of another autosomal segment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosome Aberrations / genetics*
  • Chromosome Banding
  • Chromosome Disorders
  • Chromosomes, Human, 21-22 and Y*
  • Eye Abnormalities*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Ploidies
  • Syndrome
  • Trisomy