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April 1979

The Paradox of the XY OocyteRelationship to Risk of Gonadoblastoma in Infant Girls

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics State University of New York Upstate Medical Center Syracuse, NY 13210

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(4):365-366. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130040019001

Somehow, when I first saw the elegant photomicrograph of an ovum in a primordial follicle in the article by Cussen and MacMahon (p 373), I was reminded of Fitz-James O'Brien's 19th century fantasy "The Diamond Lens." O'Brien wrote of a young physician who obtained a large rose-colored diamond (by murdering the owner, of course) and converted it into a remarkable lens for his trusty Spencer Trunnion Microscope. While examining a drop of water on a slide, he discovered a beautiful female homunculus whom he named Animula. He wondered why a nice girl like her should be in a place like that, and forthwith fell hopelessly in love. One could sense the inevitable tragedy as the drop began to dry up.

So it is with the ovum and primordial follicle of Cussen and MacMahon, situated in the tissue of a dysgenetic gonad that when cultured showed the improbable karyotype of 46,XY.

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