What is Klinefelter syndrome?
Klinefelter syndrome is a sex chromosome disorder in boys and men that results from the presence of an extra X chromosome in cells. People typically have 46 chromosomes in each cell, two of which are the sex chromosomes. Females have two X chromosomes (46,XX), and males have one X and one Y chromosome (46,XY). Most often, boys and men with Klinefelter syndrome have the usual X and Y chromosomes, plus one extra X chromosome, for a total of 47 chromosomes (47,XXY).
Signs and symptoms
Klinefelter syndrome may adversely affect testicular growth, resulting in smaller than normal testicles, which can lead to lower production of testosterone. The syndrome may also cause reduced muscle mass, reduced body and facial hair, and enlarged breast tissue. The effects of Klinefelter syndrome vary, and not everyone has the same signs and symptoms. Most men with Klinefelter syndrome produce little or no sperm, but assisted reproductive procedures may make it possible for some men with Klinefelter syndrome to father children.
Children with Klinefelter syndrome
Children with Klinefelter syndrome may have low muscle tone (hypotonia) and problems with coordination that may delay the development of motor skills, such as sitting, standing, and walking. Affected boys often have learning disabilities, resulting in mild delays in speech and language development and problems with reading. Boys and men with Klinefelter syndrome tend to have better receptive language skills (the ability to understand speech) than expressive language skills (vocabulary and the production of speech) and may have difficulty communicating and expressing themselves.
Diagnosis of Klinefelter syndrome
The signs and symptoms of Klinefelter syndrome vary among boys and men with this condition. In some cases, the features of the condition are so mild that the condition is not diagnosed until puberty or adulthood, and researchers believe that up to 75 percent of affected men and boys are never diagnosed. However, the gMendel® technology is already validated on Klinefelter DNA samples and can therefore be used for early diagnosis.