To understand better the pathogenesis of ovarian dysgenesis in individuals with abnormalities such as 45,X Turner syndrome, trisomy 13, and trisomy 18, we have examined microscopically the ovaries of 36 infants with a number of chromosomal abnormalities confirmed by karyotype analysis. All infants with trisomy 13, trisomy 18, triploidy, and 45,X were found to have severe ovarian dysgenesis characterized by a virtual absence of primary oocytes. The ovaries of individuals with 21 trisomy and of those with partial deletion or duplication of an autosome demonstrated variable findings, which ranged from complete absence of oocytes to a mild diminution of oocyte numbers. The results of this study suggest that the attrition of germ cells in these infants is a result of faulty meiotic pairing and that ovarian dysgenesis is a more frequent finding in children with karyotypic abnormalities than has been realized previously.
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