We describe a case of apparent trisomy 21 that does not fulfill the criteria for the clinical diagnosis of Down's syndrome (DS). Our patient was subjected to karyotype analysis and found to have full, non-mosaic trisomy 21 in both blood lymphocytes and skin fibroblasts, while examination of the term placenta, which was performed earlier in the course of a different study, had shown mosaicism (73%) for trisomy 21. FISH analysis showed no obvious rearrangement of the DS chromosomal region in any of the chromosomes 21. Molecular analysis using polymorphic markers on chromosome 21 verified the existence of trisomy for the entire long arm of the chromosome and showed that the origin of the extra chromosome was maternal and was probably the result of a mitotic error. In contrast with the above, the clinical evaluation using the Jackson checklist of 25 signs failed to establish the diagnosis of DS. We believe that our patient might present mosaicism in other tissues that are not available for analysis and can be regarded as an extreme example in the continuous spectrum of karyotype phenotype associations in mosaic cases.
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