A to Z of syndromes

A-Z of syndromes: Edwards’ syndrome

Disorders and diseases with common symptoms that constitute syndromes.

Disorders and diseases with common symptoms that constitute syndromes.

Edwards’ syndrome is a serious genetic condition that affects fetal cellular functions, tissue development and organogenesis. Most infants with the syndrome are female, but there is no race predominance.

First described in 1960 by geneticist John Edwards, the syndrome is caused by incomplete chromosomal division during production of sperm or ovum.

The syndrome is usually due to an extra chromosome on the 18th pair, and so is also called Trisomy 18. More rarely it is caused by a type of mosaicism.


Infants born with full Edwards’ syndrome usually have life-threatening malformations from the outset and a poor prognosis. If the syndrome is caused by mosaicism, however, the prognosis is more positive.

Edwards’ syndrome


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