We report on the molecular investigations performed on an embryo with tetraploidy, karyotype 92,XXXY. The embryo was spontaneously aborted after eight weeks of gestation. Molecular analyses were performed in order to determine the parental origin and mode of formation of the two additional haploid sets of chromosomes. Microsatellite markers mapping to pericentromeric chromosome regions were used. Our results show a maternal origin of one additional set of chromosomes most likely due to the incorporation of the polar Copyright (C) 2003 S . Karger AG, Basel body of meiosis I and a paternal origin of the second additional set of chromosomes most likely due to dispermy. The karyotype 92,XXXY is rather unusual, indeed the vast majority of cases with tetraploidy have the karyotypes 92,XXXX or 92,XXYY. To the best of our knowledge this is the first case with 92,XXXY for which molecular investigations have been performed. Copyright (C) 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel.