Translocations occur in a proportion of couples affected by recurrent miscarriages. We describe two such families in which the underlying cause was a cryptic subtelomeric 11p;17p translocation detected only after the birth of an affected child carrying an unbalanced form of the rearrangement. Unbalanced subtelomeric rearrangements are now recognised as a significant cause of mental impairment and we believe that these rearrangements may also be an important cause of recurrent miscarriages. In these two families the translocation is most likely to have arisen from a single ancestral event because all translocation carriers shared almost identical haplotypes around the breakpoints on both chromosomes.<br/
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