No monochorionic dizygotic twins (MCDZTs) with cellular chimerism involving cells other than blood cells have been reported in the literature to date. Here we report a probable first case of MCDZTs with buccal cell chimerism. A 32-year-old woman conceived twins by in vitro fertilization by using 2 cryopreserved blastocysts that were transferred into her uterus. An ultrasound scan at 8 weeks’ gestation showed signs indicative of monochorionic twins. A healthy boy and a healthy girl were born, showing no sexual ambiguity. Cytogenetic analyses and microsatellite studies demonstrated chimerism in blood cells of both twins. Notably, repeated fluorescence in situ hybridization and microsatellite studies revealed chimerism in buccal cells obtained from 1 of the twins. Although the mechanism through which buccal cell chimerism was generated remains to be elucidated, ectopic differentiation of chimeric hematopoietic cells that migrated to the buccal membrane or the cellular transfer between the 2 embryos at the early stage of development might be responsible for the phenomenon. This hypothesis raises an interesting issue regarding embryonic development and cellular differentiation into organs during fetal development. Given the possibility of cryptic chimerism in various organs including gonadal tissues in MCDZTs, close observation will be required to determine whether complications develop in the course of the patients’ growth.
- Accepted September 17, 2013.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics