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Downs Syndrome and cystic hygromas

  During a recent ultrasound, the doc said he detected nuchal cystic hygromas.
  He indicated that this detection with my age of 41 was a strong indication
  that I might have a Downs baby. Presently I am 11 weeks pregnant. I can't
  seem to find any additional information on cystic hygromas. Can you point
  me in a good direction or give me more info? I am scheduled for an amnio
  in a few weeks to hopefully rule out Downs but meanwhile I want to understand
  everything that is going on. Thank you.
Dear Marita:
Cystic hygroma is a developmental anomaly that is associated with an abnormal karyotype in 70% of cases. Turner's syndrome (45 X, loss on one of the X chromosomes) and Down syndrome (an extra #21 chromosome) are the common associations. Cystic hygroma can be found with a normal karyotype.
The cysts normally grow smaller during pregnancy. The soft tissue neck swelling is differentiated from an hemangioma (blood vessel tumor) by a doppler ultrasound study.
Keywords: cystic hygroma
This information is provided for education purposes and is not a medical consultation. If you have specific question,s please contact your physician.

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