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Pallister-Killian syndrome: normal karyotype in prenatal chorionic villi, in postnatal lymphocytes, and in slowly growing epidermal cells, but mosaic tetrasomy 12p in skin fibroblasts.
  1. D Horn,
  2. F Majewski,
  3. B Hildebrandt,
  4. H Körner
  1. Institute of Medical Genetics, School of Medicine (Charité), Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.


    We report on two patients with Pallister-Killian syndrome: an 18 month old male infant followed since the neonatal period and a 4 year old boy. Prenatal diagnosis by chorionic villi sampling (CVS) in the first case showed a normal karyotype without mosaicism. Chromosome analysis on peripheral lymphocytes of the newborn also showed a normal karyotype. The clinical diagnosis of Pallister-Killian syndrome was made after the first year of life because of the typical facial dysmorphism and other characteristic clinical features, such as frontotemporal alopecia, depigmented area of the skin, sensorineural hearing loss, and severe psychomotor retardation. Chromosome analysis from skin fibroblasts now showed an isochromosome 12p mosaicism. The origin of the extra chromosome was confirmed by in situ hybridisation using a chromosome 12 specific library. In the second case chromosomal analysis from peripheral lymphocytes at the age of 19 months showed a normal karyotype 46,XY. Following the clinical diagnosis of Pallister-Killian syndrome a superficial skin biopsy was performed which showed very poor and slow growth of cells and a normal karyotype. Because of the typical symptoms a larger and deeper skin biopsy was performed from which there was rapid growth of fibroblasts. Now the diagnosis was established on the basis of the presence of an i(12p) extra chromosome in 69% of the metaphases.

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