Two unpublished cases with partial tandem duplication of 12p and one previously published case were studied by fluorescence in situ hybridization using 11 cosmid DNA probes from 12p. We propose that the smallest duplications of 12(p13.2pter) and 12(p13.1p13.33) produce the "trisomy 12p syndrome" which is characterized by heavy birth weight, macrocephaly, muscular hypotonia, short neck, flat face, high forehead, prominent cheeks, large philtrum, short nose with anteverted nostrils, and broad everted lower lip. From a review of the published cases we conclude that gross malformations are lacking in "pure" trisomy 12p, and mental retardation is severe in complete and moderate in partial trisomy 12p. Polydactyly and accessory nipples were found only with almost complete trisomy 12p. Abnormalities of hair growth may be related to a gene at 12p. The sub-band 12p11.21 may be critical for acrocallosal syndrome. Macrocephaly may be due to a metabolic disorder.