Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) is a genetic disorder produced by the presence of an extra chromosome 18. It is the second most common autosomal trisomy after Down syndrome.
The prevalence is estimated at 1 in 6,000 births. Life expectancy is limited: mortality is around 60% in the first week of life and reaches 94-95% between the first and second year of life. Babies with Edwards may have a number of serious medical problems for which they require specialized care.
Similar to Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome is more frequent in mothers with advanced age: after 35 years the incidence progressively increases from 1/2,500 live births at age 36 years to 1/500 at age 43 years.
Most frequent clinical findings in patients with Edwards syndrome:
- Small head
- Low birth weight
- Neonatal hypotonia followed by hypertonia
- Delayed growth
- Congenital heart defects
- Craniofacial anomalies
- Neurological problems
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