Information for Patients
Turner syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects a girl's development. The cause is a missing or incomplete X chromosome. Girls who have it are short, and their ovaries don't work properly.
Other physical features typical of Turner syndrome are
- Short, "webbed" neck with folds of skin from tops of shoulders to sides of neck
- Low hairline in the back
- Low-set ears
- Swollen hands and feet
Most women with Turner syndrome are infertile. They are at risk for health difficulties such as high blood pressure, kidney problems, diabetes, cataracts, osteoporosis, and thyroid problems.
Doctors diagnose Turner syndrome based on symptoms and a genetic test. Sometimes it is found in prenatal testing. There is no cure for Turner syndrome, but there are some treatments for the symptoms. Growth hormone often helps girls reach heights that are close to average. Hormone replacement can help start sexual development. Assisted reproduction techniques can help some women with Turner syndrome get pregnant.
NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Turner syndrome Turner syndrome is a chromosomal condition that affects development in females. The most common feature of Turner syndrome is short stature, which becomes evident by about age 5. An early loss of ovarian function (ovarian hypofunction or premature ovarian failure) is also very common. The ovaries develop normally at first, but egg cells (oocytes) usually die prematurely and most ovarian tissue degenerates before birth. Many affected girls do not undergo puberty unless they receive hormone therapy, and most are unable to conceive (infertile). A small percentage of females with Turner syndrome retain normal ovarian function through young adulthood.About 30 percent of females with Turner syndrome have extra folds of skin on the neck (webbed neck), a low hairline at the back of the neck, puffiness or swelling (lymphedema) of the hands and feet, skeletal abnormalities, or kidney problems. One third to one half of individuals with Turner syndrome are born with a heart defect, such as a narrowing of the large artery leaving the heart (coarctation of the aorta) or abnormalities of the valve that connects the aorta with the heart (the aortic valve). Complications associated with these heart defects can be life-threatening.Most girls and women with Turner syndrome have normal intelligence. Developmental delays, nonverbal learning disabilities, and behavioral problems are possible, although these characteristics vary among affected individuals.