Chromosome 18, Monosomy 18p

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Skip to the navigation

It is possible that the main title of the report Chromosome 18, Monosomy 18p is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Chromosome 18, Monosomy 18p is a rare chromosomal disorder in which all or part of the short arm (p) of chromosome 18 is deleted (monosomic). The disorder is typically characterized by short stature, variable degrees of mental retardation, speech delays, malformations of the skull and facial (craniofacial) region, and/or additional physical abnormalities. Associated craniofacial defects may vary greatly in range and severity from case to case. However, such features commonly include an unusually small head (microcephaly); a broad, flat nose; a "carp-shaped" mouth; large, protruding ears; widely spaced eyes (ocular hypertelorism); and/or other abnormalities. Rarely (i.e., in about 10 percent of cases), Monosomy 18p may be associated with holoprosencephaly, a condition in which the forebrain (prosencephalon) fails to divide properly during embryonic development. Holoprosencephaly may result in varying degrees of mental retardation, other neurologic findings, and/or extremely variable midline facial defects, such as the presence of a single, central front tooth (maxillary incisor); closely spaced eyes (hypotelorism); an abnormal groove in the upper lip (cleft lip); incomplete closure of the roof of the mouth (cleft palate); and/or, in severe cases, absence of the nose and/or cyclopia. Cyclopia is characterized by fusion of the eye cavities (orbits) into a single cavity containing one eye.

In some individuals with Monosomy 18p, additional physical abnormalities may be present. Such findings commonly include a short, webbed neck; a broad chest with widely spaced nipples; relatively small hands and feet; and/or an unusually small penis (micropenis) and/or undescended testes (cryptorchidism) in affected males.

Monosomy 18p is usually caused by spontaneous (de novo) errors very early in the development of the embryo that appear to occur randomly for unknown reasons (sporadically).

Supporting Organizations


PO Box 751112
Las Vegas, NV 89136
Tel: (702)769-9264
Fax: (702)341-5351
Tel: (888)486-1209

American Heart Association

7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75231
Tel: (214)784-7212
Fax: (214)784-1307
Tel: (800)242-8721

Children's Craniofacial Association

13140 Coit Road
Suite 517
Dallas, TX 75240
Tel: (214)570-9099
Fax: (214)570-8811
Tel: (800)535-3643

Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society

7155 Oakridge Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229
Tel: (210)657-4968
Fax: (210)657-4968

Chromosome Disorder Outreach, Inc.

P.O. Box 724
Boca Raton, FL 33429-0724
Tel: (561)395-4252
Fax: (561)395-4252

Craniofacial Foundation of America

975 East Third Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Tel: (423)778-9176
Fax: (423)778-8172
Tel: (800)418-3223

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

March of Dimes

1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Email: or
Website: and

Support Organization for Trisomy 18, 13, and Related Disorders

2982 S. Union Street
Rochester, NY 14624-1926
Fax: (585)594-1957
Tel: (800)716-7638

The Arc

1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202)534-3700
Fax: (202)534-3731
Tel: (800)433-5255

UNIQUE - Rare Chromosome Disorder Support Group

G1 The Stables
Station Road West
Oxted, RH8 9EE
United Kingdom
Tel: 0044 (0)1883 723356

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  4/10/2009
Copyright  2009 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.