Chromosomal Abnormalities: Trisomy 13 and 18
(Chromosome 13; Trisomy 13 Complete; Complete Trisomy 13 Syndrome; D Trisomy syndrome; Patau syndrome) ( Chromosome 18; Trisomy 18 Complete; Complete Trisomy 18 Syndrome; Edwards Syndrome; Trisomy E Syndrome)
How to Say It: TRY-so-mee
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Trisomy 13 and trisomy 18 are problems with genes that cause serious birth defects and health problems.
Chromosomes carry our unique DNA. Infants born with trisomy 13 or 18 have three chromosomes where there should only be two.
There are no known risk factors.
Most children will have some, but not all of these symptoms.
Symptoms can be found both before and after a child is born. Tests may be:
There is no treatment or cure. Most babies have severe physical problems. The condition is managed by making the child comfortable, rather than prolonging life.
Children who survive infancy may need:
There are no known methods to prevent this health problem. After these disorders are diagnosed, parents can decide whether to continue or terminate the pregnancy.
National Organization for Rare Disorders
Support Organization for Trisomy 18, 13, and Related Disorders
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Practice Bulletin No. 163: screening for fetal aneuploidy. Obstet Gynecol. 2016;127(5):e123-e137.
Trisomy 13. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/trisomy-13. Accessed August 27, 2021.
Trisomy 18. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/trisomy-18. Accessed August 27, 2021.
Trisomy 18 and 13. Standford Children's Health website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed August 27, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kuenn, MD
Last Updated: 8/27/2021
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.
All rights reserved.