Triple X syndrome, also called trisomy X or 47,XXX, is characterized by the presence of one extra X chromosome in each of a female's cells. Most often, this chromosomal change causes no unusual physical features or medical problems. Females with triple X syndrome are sometimes taller than average and have an increased risk of learning disabilities and delayed speech and language skills. Developmental delays and behavioral problems are also possible, but these characteristics vary widely among affected girls and women. Most females with triple X syndrome have normal sexual development and are able to conceive children.
This condition occurs in about 1 in 1,000 newborn girls. Five to 10 girls with triple X syndrome are born in the United States each day.
Triple X syndrome is related to the X chromosome.
People normally have 46 chromosomes in each cell. Two of the 46 chromosomes are sex chromosomes, called X and Y. Females have two X chromosomes (46,XX), and males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome (46,XY).
Triple X syndrome results from an extra copy of the X chromosome in each of a female's cells. As a result of the extra X chromosome, each cell has a total of 47 chromosomes (47,XXX) instead of 46. It remains uncertain why an extra copy of the X chromosome is associated with tall stature and learning problems in some girls and women.
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.
Read more about the X chromosome.
Trisomy X usually is not inherited, but occurs as a random event during the formation of reproductive cells (eggs and sperm). An error in cell division called nondisjunction can result in reproductive cells with an abnormal number of chromosomes. For example, an egg or sperm cell may gain an extra copy of the X chromosome as a result of nondisjunction. If one of these atypical reproductive cells contributes to the genetic makeup of a female child, the child will have an extra X chromosome in each of the body's cells.
In some cases, trisomy X results from nondisjunction during cell division in early embryonic development. These cases are usually 46,XX/47,XXX mosaics.
You might find information on treatment of triple X syndrome in
Educational resources and Patient support.
You may find the following resources about triple X syndrome helpful. These materials are written for the general public.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for healthcare professionals and researchers.
- Triplo X syndrome
- Trisomy X
- XXX syndrome
The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.
These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.
The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for
professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about
a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified
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