Hemizygous deletion of 3p25-pter is associated with a phenotype of profound growth failure, microcephaly, characteristic facial changes, and mental retardation. Since the severity may be quite variable, we have studied 3 cases of del 3p25-pter to define the clinical manifestations and the critical chromosome region for phenotypic expression. The patient we now report died at age 6 months and provided an opportunity for a detailed necropsy analysis for only the second time in a del(3p) patient. He had marked hypoplasia of all organs, hypomyelination of white matter, and multiple renal cortical microcysts. Ordered genomic markers from the distal regions of chromosome 3p aided in determining the parent of origin of each deletion and in defining the boundaries of the deleted chromosomal segments. The deleted markers distal to the RAF1 oncogene in 2 of the 3 patients were consistently hemizygous. One patient had an interstitial deletion based on evidence of diploid inheritance of one of the most distal loci (D3S17). Available genetic linkage maps suggest that the deletion spans at least 19 centimorgans (cM).