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Mosaic Turner syndrome shows reduced phenotypic penetrance in an adult population study compared to clinically ascertained cases

By Marcus A Tuke, Katherine S Ruth, Andrew R Wood, Robin N Beaumont, Jessica Tyrrell, Samuel E Jones, Hanieh Yaghootkar, Claire L.S. Turner, Mollie E. Donohoe, Antonia M. Brooke, Morag N Collinson, Rachel M. Freathy, Michael N Weedon, Timothy M Frayling, Anna Murray

Posted 18 Aug 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/177659

Women with X chromosome aneuploidy such as 45,X (Turner syndrome) or 47,XXX (Triple X syndrome) present with characteristics including differences in stature, increased cardiovascular disease risk and primary ovarian insufficiency. Many women with X chromosome aneuploidy undergo lifetime clinical monitoring for possible complications. However, ascertainment of cases in the clinic may mean that the phenotypic penetrance is overestimated. Studies of prenatally ascertained X chromosome aneuploidy cases have limited follow-up data and so the long-term consequences into adulthood are often not reported. We aimed to characterise the prevalence and phenotypic consequences of X chromosome aneuploidy in a large population of women over 40 years of age. We detected 30 women with 45,X, 186 with mosaic 45,X/46,XX and 110 with 47,XXX among 244,848 UK Biobank women, using SNP array data. The prevalence of non-mosaic 45,X (1/8,162) and 47,XXX (1/2,226) was lower than expected, but was higher for mosaic 45,X/46,XX (1/1,316). The characteristics of women with 45,X were consistent with the characteristics of a clinically recognised Turner syndrome phenotype, including a 17.2cm shorter stature (SD = 5.72cm; P = 1.5 x 10-53) and 16/30 did not report an age at menarche. The phenotype of women with 47,XXX included taller stature (5.3cm; SD = 5.52cm; P = 5.8 x 10-20), earlier menopause age (5.12 years; SD = 5.1 years; P = 1.2 x 10-14) and a lower fluid intelligence score (24%; SD = 29.7%; P = 3.7 x 10-8). In contrast, the characteristics of women with mosaic 45,X/46,XX were much less pronounced than expected. Women with mosaic 45,X/46,XX were less short, had a normal reproductive lifespan and birth rate, and no reported cardiovascular complications. In conclusion, the availability of data from 244,848 women allowed us to assess the phenotypic penetrance of traits associated with X chromosome aneuploidy in an adult population setting. Our results suggest that the clinical management of women with 45,X/46,XX mosaicism should be minimal, particularly those identified incidentally.

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