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Triple X syndrome
ICD-10 Q970
OMIM [1]
DiseasesDB 13386
MedlinePlus [2]
eMedicine /
MeSH {{{MeshNumber}}}

Triple X syndrome is a form of chromosomal variation characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome in each cell of a human female. The condition is also known as triplo-X, trisomy X, XXX syndrome, and 47,XXX aneuploidy. Triple X results during division of a parent's reproductive cells. Females with the condition (about 0.1 % of the female population) are not at any increased risk for medical problems.


Due to the lyonization, inactivation and formation of a Barr body in all female cells, only one X chromosome is active at any time in a female cell. Thus, triple X syndrome most often causes no unusual physical features or medical problems. Females with the condition are usually taller than average, and their weight may be low in comparison to their height. They may have menstrual irregularities, and, although rarely exhibiting severe mental impairments, sometimes have an increased risk of learning disabilities, delayed speech, and language skills.

A similar range of body types and characteristics are present in both triple X and Klinefelter's syndrome. These include a lanky/youthful appearance, non-affectedness, or varying degrees of androgyny. Body types/characteristics often follow traits shown in family members who are unaffected. The additional X chromosome can come from either the maternal or paternal side. Although body types and characteristics are distinguishable in triple X, the condition is verified only by karyotype testing.

Most women with triple X have normal sexual development and are able to conceive children. A few may experience early onset of menstruation.

Triple X women are rarely diagnosed, apart from pre-natal testing methods, such as amniocentesis. Most medical professionals do not regard the condition a disability. However, such status can be sought by parents for early intervention treatment if mild delays are present.


Triple X syndrome is not inherited, but usually occurs as a random event during the formation of reproductive cells (ovum and sperm). An error in cell division called nondisjunction can result in reproductive cells with additional chromosomes. For example, an oocyte or sperm cell may gain an extra copy of the X chromosome as a result of the nondisjunction. If one of these cells contributes to the genetic makeup of a child, the child will have an extra X chromosome in each of his or her cells. In some cases, trisomy X occurs during cell division in early embryonic development.

Some females with triple X syndrome have an extra X chromosome in only some of their cells. These cases are called 46,XX/47,XXX mosaics.


Triple X syndrome occurs in 1 in 1,000 newborn girls. On average, five to ten girls with triple X syndrome are born in the United States each day.[1]

First case

The first published report of a woman with a 47,XXX karyotype was by Patricia A. Jacobs, et al. at Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1959. It was found in a 35-year-old, 5 ft. 9 in. [176 cm] tall, 128 lb. [58.2 kg] woman who had premature ovarian failure at age 19; her mother was age 41 and her father was 40 at the time of her conception.[2]

See also


  1. National Library of Medicine (2007). Genetics Home Reference: Triple X syndrome. URL accessed on 2007-03-22.
  2. Jacobs PA, Baikie AG, Brown WM, MacGregor TN, Maclean N, Harnden DG (1959). Evidence for the existence of the human "super female". Lancet 274 (7100): 423-5. PMID 14406377.

External links

  • NLM (2007). Triple X syndrome Genetics Home Reference
  • Guy's Hospital Clinical Genetics Department (2001). Triple X information leaflet
  • Nielsen, Johannes (1998). Triple-X Females. An Orientation. The Turner Center, Aarhus Psychiatric Hospital, Risskov, Denmark.
    • Triple X information booklet by Dr. Nielsen, a psychiatrist and geneticist who led the longest running of 8 international newborn screening studies of sex chromosome abnormalities.
  • Klinefelter Syndrome & Associates (
    • has 2006 Trisomy X and XYY National Conference binders and DVDs available for purchase
  • anonymous (2006). Triple X syndrome
    • article from a web-based free content encyclopedia project written collaboratively by volunteers
  • Community
    • Triple X syndrome
      • Yahoo! Group for prenatally diagnosed, infants, and children
    • Trisomy X
      • Yahoo! Group for adolescents, teens, and adults.