The 11q;22q translocation: A European collaborative analysis of 43 cases

M. Fraccaro, J. Lindsten, C. E. Ford, L. Iselius, A. Antonelli, P. Aula, A. Aurias, A. D. Bain, M. Bartsch-Sandhoff, F. Bernardi, E. Boyd, L. F. Buchanan, A. H. Cameron, A. de la Chapelle, G. Ciuffa, C. Cuoco, B. Dutrillaux, G. Dutton, M. A. Ferguson-Smith, D. FrancesconiJ. P M Geraedts, G. Gimelli, J. Gueguen, E. Gärsner, A. Hagemeijer, F. J. Hansen, P. E. Hollings, T. W J Hustinx, A. Kaakinen, J. J P van de Kamp, H. von Koskull, J. Lejeune, R. H. Lindenbaum, H. H. McCreanor, M. Mikkelsen, F. Mitelman, B. Nicoletti, J. Nilsby, B. Nilsson, B. Noel, E. Padovani, F. Pasquali, J. de Pater, C. Pedersen, F. Petersen, E. B. Robson, J. Rotman, M. Ryynänen, E. Sachs, J. Salat, R. H. Smythe, I. Stabell, I. Šubrt, P. Vampirelli, G. Wessner, L. Zergollern, O. Zuffardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Translocation between the long arms of chromosomes 11 and 22 is usually detected in offspring with an unbalanced karyotype following a 3:1 disjunction resulting in "partial trisomy." Since by the end of 1976 it was suspected that this translocation might be more frequent than one would deduce from published reports, it was decided to call for a collaborative effort in Europe to collect unpublished cases. In response, 42 cases were collected in Europe, and one case from New Zealand was added. The following countries were represented with the number of cases indicated in parentheses: Czechoslovakia (2), Denmark (4), Finland (3), France (6), Germany (1), Italy (5), The Netherlands (9), Sweden (6), United Kingdom (4), Yugoslavia (2). The wide geographical distribution indicates a multifocal origin of the translocation. Among the unpublished cases, 31 were ascertained as unbalanced carriers [47,XX or XY,+der(22),t(11;22)] and 12 as balanced balanced carriers [46,XX and XY,t(11;22)]. Among the published cases, 10 were ascertained in unbalanced and 3 in balanced carriers. The breakpoints of the translocations indicated by the contributors varied, the most frequently reported being 11q23;22q11 (25 cases), followed by q25;q13 (10 cases). While the first one seems more likely, it was not possible to decide whether the breakpoints were the same in all cases. All 32 probands with unbalanced karyotypes had inherited the translocation, 31 from the mother and only 1 from the father. This ratio became 43:1 when the published cases were added. A segregation analysis revealed that in families ascertained through probands with unbalanced karyotypes there was a ratio of carriers to normal (all karyotyped) 54:55, not a significant difference. The formal maximum (minimum) recurrence risk for this unbalanced translocation was calculated to be 5.6% (2.7%). When the ascertainment was through a balanced proband, the maximum risk was 2.7%. The risk was calculated as 5.7% for female and 4.3% for male carriers. The mean family size was 1.67 for the offspring of female carriers and 0.78 for the offspring of male carriers. This significant difference suggests that heterozygosity for the translocation reduces fertility in males. Indeed, several of the probands with balanced karyotypes were ascertained because of sub- or infertility. Only 2 de novo translocations were found among the 59 probands, and both, were among the 12 cases ascertained as balanced carriers. The source, quality, and quantity of the clinical data for the subjects with unbalanced karyotypes were variable, and no definite conclusions were possible about phenotypes. The following signs were recorded in 10 or more of the 45 cases: low birth weight, delayed psychomotor development, hypotonia, microcephaly, craniofacial asymmetry, malformed ears with pits and tags, cleft palate, micro-/retrognathia, large beaked nose, strabismus, congenital heart disease, cryptorchidism, and congenital dislocation of the hip joints. Many signs were similar to those considered typical of trisomy 11q, and the phenotype coincided almost completely with the presumptive phenotype of complete trisomy 22. No cases with coloboma was recorded, while other signs of the "cat-eye" syndrome were found in several probands. This might indicate that individuals with the cat-eye syndrome and carriers of the unbalanced 11/22 translocation have the same segment of 22 in triplicate plus or minus another chromosome segment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-51
Number of pages31
JournalHuman Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics


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