Prenatal diagnosis and dysmorphic findings in mosaic trisomy 16

Prenat Diagn. 1994 Apr;14(4):257-66. doi: 10.1002/pd.1970140405.


We report two cases of mosaic trisomy 16 diagnosed by amniocentesis, with dysmorphic findings in both cases evident upon delivery. Following elective termination, case 1 demonstrated a trisomy 16 cell line in fetal skin (4 per cent) and placental tissue (64 per cent). Molecular studies on the disomic cell line indicated that both chromosome 16s were maternal in origin, suggesting loss of the paternal chromosome 16 from a trisomic zygote (uniparental heterodisomy). At birth, case 2 demonstrated only disomic cells in skin and blood, with trisomy 16 present in 4 per cent of cells from the amnion. Molecular studies confirmed both maternal and paternal contributions of the chromosome 16s. We analysed DNA from one previously reported case of mosaic trisomy 16 (Williams et al., 1992) and failed to find signs of uniparental disomy in this child with congenital heart defects. These cases had distinctive but different dysmorphic features. We suggest that trisomy 16 embryos may revert to disomy during the course of pregnancy, allowing for longer survival with various abnormalities in growth and morphogenesis. The clinical significance of prenatally detected mosaic trisomy 16 may not be completely defined by additional cytogenetic, molecular, and ultrasound studies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amnion / abnormalities
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 16*
  • Female
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Karyotyping
  • Mosaicism / genetics
  • Mosaicism / pathology*
  • Mosaicism / physiopathology
  • Phenotype
  • Placenta / abnormalities
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / standards*
  • Skin Abnormalities
  • Trisomy / genetics*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal