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Am J Hum Genet. 2004 Jun;74(6):1168-74. Epub 2004 May 4.

Comparative genomic hybridization-array analysis enhances the detection of aneuploidies and submicroscopic imbalances in spontaneous miscarriages.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Miscarriage is a condition that affects 10%-15% of all clinically recognized pregnancies, most of which occur in the first trimester. Approximately 50% of first-trimester miscarriages result from fetal chromosome abnormalities. Currently, G-banded chromosome analysis is used to determine if large-scale genetic imbalances are the cause of these pregnancy losses. This technique relies on the culture of cells derived from the fetus, a technique that has many limitations, including a high rate of culture failure, maternal overgrowth of fetal cells, and poor chromosome morphology. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH)-array analysis is a powerful new molecular cytogenetic technique that allows genomewide analysis of DNA copy number. By hybridizing patient DNA and normal reference DNA to arrays of genomic clones, unbalanced gains or losses of genetic material across the genome can be detected. In this study, 41 product-of-conception (POC) samples, which were previously analyzed by G-banding, were tested using CGH arrays to determine not only if the array could identify all reported abnormalities, but also whether any previously undetected genomic imbalances would be discovered. The array methodology detected all abnormalities as reported by G-banding analysis and revealed new abnormalities in 4/41 (9.8%) cases. Of those, one trisomy 21 POC was also mosaic for trisomy 20, one had a duplication of the 10q telomere region, one had an interstitial deletion of chromosome 9p, and the fourth had an interstitial duplication of the Prader-Willi/Angelman syndrome region on chromosome 15q, which, if maternally inherited, has been implicated in autism. This retrospective study demonstrates that the DNA-based CGH-array technology overcomes many of the limitations of routine cytogenetic analysis of POC samples while enhancing the detection of fetal chromosome aberrations.

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