Trisomy 18, also called Edwards syndrome, is a chromosomal condition associated with abnormalities in many parts of the body. Individuals with trisomy 18 often have slow growth before birth (intrauterine growth retardation) and a low birth weight.
What is life like for someone with Edwards syndrome?
Edwards’ syndrome and life expectancy
The full form of Edwards’ syndrome is considered to be a life-limiting condition which means it affects how long the baby can live. Around 5 in 10 (52.5%) may live longer than 1 week and around 1 in 10 (12.3%) may live longer than 5 years.
How does Edwards syndrome affect development?
A baby with Edwards’ syndrome has 3 copies of chromosome number 18 instead of 2. This affects the way the baby grows and develops. Having 3 copies of chromosome 18 usually happens by chance, because of a change in the sperm or egg before a baby is conceived.
What are some of the symptoms of a person with Edwards syndrome?
Edwards Syndrome Symptoms
- Microcephaly (small and abnormally shaped head)
- Micrognathia (abnormally small jaw and mouth)
- Long, overlapping fingers and underdeveloped fingernails.
- Scrunched fists.
- Low-set ears.
- Arched spine and abnormally shaped chest.
- Crossed legs.
- Umbilical hernia.
Is Edwards syndrome fatal?
Edwards’ syndrome is usually fatal, with most babies dying before birth. Of those who do make it to birth, 20–30 percent die within one month. However, a small number of babies (less than 10 percent) live at least one year. Edwards’ syndrome is also referred to as trisomy 18, trisomy E, and trisomy 16–18.
What gender does Edwards syndrome affect?
Edward’s syndrome affects more girls than boys – around 80 percent of those affected are female. Women older than the age of thirty have a greater risk of bearing a child with the syndrome, although it may also occur with women younger than thirty.
Who is at risk for Edwards syndrome?
Risk rises with rising maternal age. The live birth prevalence is constant until 30 years of age and then increases exponentially till 45 years of age before becoming constant again. A small positive association of paternal age with trisomy 18 (as seen in Down’s syndrome) has also been observed.
What is a trisomy baby?
A “trisomy” means that the baby has an extra chromosome in some or all of the body’s cells. In the case of trisomy 18, the baby has three copies of chromosome 18. This causes many of the baby’s organs to develop in an abnormal way.
Do trisomy 18 babies suffer?
Most babies with trisomy 18 die before they are born. The majority of those who make it to term die within five to 15 days, usually due to severe heart and lung defects.
Why does Edwards syndrome occur?
Edwards syndrome is a genetic condition in babies that causes severe disability. It is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 18 and babies born with the condition usually do not survive for much longer than a week.
How many chromosomes does a person with Edwards syndrome have?
Around 1 in every 5,000 babies is diagnosed with Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome. Normally, a person has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Chromosomes are the packages of genetic information, made of DNA, that contain the instructions the body uses to build a person.
What can cause Trisomy 18?
Most cases of trisomy 18 are not inherited, but occur as random events during the formation of eggs and sperm. An error in cell division called nondisjunction results in a reproductive cell with an abnormal number of chromosomes. For example, an egg or sperm cell may gain an extra copy of chromosome 18.