• deletion 13q21.1;
  • array-CGH;
  • benign phenotype;
  • euchromatic variant;
  • benign copy number variation


We report on the clinical and cytogenetic findings as well as the array-based characterization of an interstitial familial 13q21 deletion initially recognized by standard karyotyping. Although 13q deletions are known to imply a wide variability of clinical consequences, the deletion carriers of the familial deletion in three generations did not reveal a relevant phenotype. The breakpoints and the deletion size in all three carrier individuals were determined by molecular karyotyping confirming a large 14.5 Mb deletion encompassing the 13q21.1–13q21.33 region identical in all three carriers. Gene paucity and the lack of dosage-sensitive genes in the delineated region might explain the apparently innocuous nature of this chromosomal anomaly. The example of this family presents evidence for describing the chromosomal region 13q21.1–13q21.33 as a large euchromatic variant or benign copy number variation without phenotypic consequences. Our data underline the importance of a phenogenetic approach combining clinical and laboratory evidence in the interpretation of segmental chromosomal anomalies especially in genetic counseling related to prenatal diagnosis. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.