Cytogenetic and dermatoglyphic features were studied in a large family with an inherited 15;21 translocation. Of 35 healthy members of the family, 21 carried the translocation chromosome and 14 were chromosomally normal. There were six members with Down's syndrome who had the translocation. Dermatoglyphic studies showed that carriers of this balanced translocation had the following peculiarities significantly more often than the general population. On the hands, they had ulnar loops on the fingertips, symmetrical high terminations of the A line, symmetrical ulnar loops on the hypothenar areas, distal loops in the 3rd interdigital areas, open fields in the 4th interdigital areas, axial triradii in the distal position, and single transverse palmar creases (Sydney lines). On the feet, they had small distal loops on the hallucal area and distal loops in the 4th interdigital areas. The translocation carriers also had significantly more often than non-carrier relatives symmetrical high terminations of the A line, open fields in the 4th interdigital areas, distal axial triradii, and Sydney lines. On the feet, they had small distal loops on the hallucal areas, distal loops in the 4th interdigital areas, and tibial loops on the proximal hypothenar areas. The data obtained from this study, and especially the values of the Walker and general indices, indicate that some of the dermatoglyphic stigmata of Down's syndrome are directly associated with the 15;21 translocation carrier state and can therefore be used for predicting that state.
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