Turner Syndrome Symptoms

The Most Common Characteristics of TS

Written by Daniel J. Toft MD, PhD, Kelly M. Rehan
Reviewed by Brigid Gregg MD

Turner syndrome (TS) was first described in 1938, when Dr. Henry Turner observed a group of girls who all had the same unique physical features—short height, webbed necks, and undeveloped sex features. Because Dr. Turner could see these features, they aren't truly symptoms—they are signs.

Symptoms and signs have subtle differences, but an easy way to tell the two apart is that symptoms can only be recognized by the person with the illness. For example, pain is a symptom—it's a sensation only the person experiencing it can feel. Signs, on the other hand, can be observed by someone else. Swollen hands, for instance, is a sign.

With Turner syndrome, certain physical signs will alert a doctor to the possibility that you or your child has the condition. These include:

About half of girls who have TS receive a Turner syndrome diagnosis at birth because they show obvious physical signs of the condition. However, that's not the case with everyone. Some girls don't show signs of TS until later in childhood. To a lesser extent, some even experience a normal puberty and have such subtle signs that they may not be diagnosed with Turner syndrome until adulthood.


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The Cause of Turner Syndrome