Clinical, cytogenetic, and fluorescence in situ hybridization findings in two cases of 'complete ring' syndrome

S. Sigurdardottir, B. K. Goodman, J. Rutberg, G. H. Thomas, E. W. Jabs, Michael T. Geraghty

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49 Scopus citations


The term 'ring syndrome' was proposed to describe a phenotype of growth failure without major malformations due to a ring autosome. The growth failure is thought to be caused by instability of the ring chromosome leading to aneusomy and cell death. Most previous studies of ring chromosomes were based on standard cytogenetic banding techniques and were limited to microscopically detectable deletions in the ring chromosomes. We report on two patients with complete ring (4) and ring (9) chromosomes, respectively. The first was a 15-month-old girl and the second was a 16-month-old boy. They both presented with severe, symmetrical growth failure and normal psychomotor development in the absence of malformations. Their parents had a normal phenotype. The first case had a whorled pattern of hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation on part of the face and chest, and the second case had a patchy hyperpigmented rash on the trunk. Peripheral blood karyotype of the first patient was 46,XX,r(4)(p16.3q35.2) and of the second 45,XY,- 9/46,XY,r(9)(p24q34.3). G-band analysis suggested no loss of material in the ring chromosomes. These findings were confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis using chromosome-specific subtelomeric probes. The common human telomeric sequences were intact in the first patient but absent in the second patient. The cytogenetic and FISH data in our two cases provide further evidence for the existence of a 'complete ring' phenotype independent of the autosome involved. Pigmentary skin changes are a useful clinical sign of mosaicism caused by the ring instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-390
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of medical genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999


  • Chromosomal abnormality
  • Chromosome 4
  • Chromosome 9
  • Clinical cytogenetics
  • FISH
  • Growth retardation
  • Ring chromosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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