|Other names||69,XXX 2n/3n mixoploidy, 3n syndrome, chromosome triploidy syndrome, diploid/triploid mixoploidy, triploidy, triploidy syndrome|
|A karyotype of a person with triploidy|
Triploid syndrome, also called triploidy, is a chromosomal disorder in which a fetus has three copies of every chromosome instead of the normal two. If this occurs in only some cells, it is called mosaic triploidy and is less severe.
Most embryos with triploidy miscarry early in development.
Signs and symptoms
Many organ systems are affected by triploidy, but the central nervous system and skeleton are the most severely affected:
Common central nervous system defects seen in triploidy include holoprosencephaly, hydrocephalus (increased amount of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain), ventriculomegaly, Arnold–Chiari malformation, agenesis of the corpus callosum and neural tube defects.
Triploid fetuses have intrauterine growth restriction beginning early in the pregnancy, as early as 12 weeks, and does not affect the head as severely as the body. Oligohydramnios, low levels of amniotic fluid, is common in triploid pregnancies. Placental abnormalities are common in triploidy. Most frequently, the placenta is enlarged and may have cysts within. In some cases, the placenta may be unusually small, having ceased to grow.
The mother will usually have high levels of specific proteins including maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Symptoms to look out for include but are not limited to swelling, edema, or hypertension.
Infants may show facial abnormalities, micrognathia, cleft lip, spina bifida, as well as other birth defects that result from kidney, limb, and umbilical cord complications. They are also prone to being smaller than a normal sized newborn, a problem that arises while the infant is still a fetus.
Triploidy is caused by an extra set of chromosomes.
Triploidy can result from either two sperm fertilizing one egg (polyspermy) (60%) or from one sperm fertilizing an egg with two copies of every chromosome (40%). These are otherwise known as diandric fertilization and digynic fertilization. Pregnancies caused by digynic fertilization are more likely to end right before a baby is due for full term. Pregnancies caused by diandric fertilization result in a miscarriage towards the first trimester.
Triploidy may be suggested by dramatically elevated levels of serum alpha-fetoprotein. On obstetric ultrasonography, abnormalities of the skeleton, central nervous system, heart, abdomen, and kidneys are visible in the most severe cases beginning at 12-14 weeks of pregnancy. Placental abnormalities associated with a triploid pregnancy become visible at 12-14 weeks. Placentomegaly or intrauterine growth restriction are the typical findings that prompt evaluation for triploidy, though oligohydramnios may be the first sign in some cases. Placentomegaly is not pathognomonic for triploidy because in some cases, the placenta senesces.
Most fetuses with triploidy do not survive to birth, and those that do usually die within days. As there is no treatment for triploidy, palliative care is given if a baby survives to birth. If triploidy is diagnosed during the pregnancy, termination is often offered as an option due to the additional health risks for the mother (pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening condition, or choriocarcinoma, a type of cancer). Should a mother decide to carry until term or until a spontaneous miscarriage occurs, doctors will monitor her closely in case either condition develops.
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- Sanders, Roger C. (2002-01-01). Structural Fetal Abnormalities: The Total Picture. Mosby. ISBN 9780323014762.
- Kolarski, Milenko; Ahmetovic, Begzudin; Beres, Maja; Topic, Radomir; Nikic, Vedran; Kavecan, Ivana; Sabic, Semin (2017). "Genetic Counseling and Prenatal Diagnosis of Triploidy During the Second Trimester of Pregnancy". Medical Archives. 71 (2): 144–147. doi:10.5455/medarh.2017.71.144-147. ISSN 0350-199X. PMC 5511524. PMID 28790549.
- Holland, Kimberly (October 14, 2016). "Triploidy". Healthline.