Prenatal detection of a de novo terminal inverted duplication 4p in a fetus with the Wolf–Hirschhorn syndrome phenotype




To present the prenatal diagnosis of a de novo terminal inversion duplication of the short arm of chromosome 4 and a review of the literature.


An amniocentesis for chromosome analysis was performed at 33 weeks' gestation because ultrasound examination showed a female fetus with multiple abnormalities consisting of severe intrauterine growth retardation, microcephaly, a cleft lip and renal hypoplasia.


Cytogenetic analysis and FISH studies of the cultured amniocytes revealed a de novo terminal inversion duplication of the short arm of chromosome 4 characterized by a duplication of 4p14-p16.1 chromosome region concomitant with a terminal deletion 4p16.1-pter. The karyotype was thus: 46,XX, inv dup del (4)(:p14→p16.1::p16.1→qter). The parents opted to terminate the pregnancy. Fetopathological examination showed dysmorphic features and abnormalities consistent with a Wolf–Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) diagnosis, clinical manifestations of partial 4p trisomy being mild.


Although relatively rare, inverted duplications have been reported repeatedly in an increasing number of chromosomes. Only two previous cases with de novo inv dup del (4p) and one with tandem dup 4p have been reported, all of them associated with a 4pter deletion. We report the first case diagnosed prenatally. Breakpoints are variable, resulting in different abnormal phenotype. In our case, clinical manifestations resulted in a WHS phenotype. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.