We report on clinical, cytogenetic and molecular analyses of 16 patients with inv dup (15) chromosome. We define the content of the inv dup (15) markers, their meiotic origin and the methylation status of the chromosome region involved. Precise phenotype-karyotype-genotype correlations allowed the identification of five different types of marker and demonstrated that even when the molecular content of the inv dup (15) chromosome clearly contributes to the severity of the phenotype, it does not appear to be the only relevant factor. All the markers were of maternal origin with an identical methylation profile, and neither imprinting nor methylation can explain the phenotypic variability. We suggest that the degree of phenotypic severity may be correlated with the severity of epilepsy.