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Pathol Biol (Paris). 2008 Sep;56(6):345-53. doi: 10.1016/j.patbio.2008.03.010. Epub 2008 Jun 2.

Gene dosage methods as diagnostic tools for the identification of chromosome abnormalities.

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  • 1Service de cytogénétique médicale, UFR médecine, histologie embryologie cytogénétique, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, faculté de médecine, université Clermont-1, B.P. 38, 63001 Clermont-Ferrand, France.


Cytogenetics is the part of genetics that deals with chromosomes, particularly with numerical and structural chromosome abnormalities, and their implications in congenital or acquired genetic disorders. Standard karyotyping, successfully used for the last 50 years in investigating the chromosome etiology in patients with infertility, fetal abnormalities and congenital disorders, is constrained by the limits of microscopic resolution and is not suited for the detection of subtle chromosome abnormalities. The ability to detect submicroscopic chromosomal rearrangements that lead to copy-number changes has escalated progressively in recent years with the advent of molecular cytogenetic techniques. Here, we review various gene dosage methods such as FISH, PCR-based approaches (MLPA, QF-PCR, QMPSF and real time PCR), CGH and array-CGH, that can be used for the identification and delineation of copy-number changes for diagnostic purposes. Besides comparing their relative strength and weakness, we will discuss the impact that these detection methods have on our understanding of copy number variations in the human genome and their implications in genetic counseling.

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