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Eur J Hum Genet. 2011 Nov;19(11):1152-60. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2011.120. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Balanced into array: genome-wide array analysis in 54 patients with an apparently balanced de novo chromosome rearrangement and a meta-analysis.

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Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


High-resolution genome-wide array analysis enables detailed screening for cryptic and submicroscopic imbalances of microscopically balanced de novo rearrangements in patients with developmental delay and/or congenital abnormalities. In this report, we added the results of genome-wide array analysis in 54 patients to data on 117 patients from seven other studies. A chromosome imbalance was detected in 37% of all patients with two-breakpoint rearrangements. In 49% of these patients, the imbalances were located in one or both breakpoint regions. Imbalances were more frequently (90%) found in complex rearrangements, with the majority (81%) having deletions in the breakpoint regions. The size of our own cohort enabled us to relate the presence of an imbalance to the clinical features of the patients by using a scoring system, the De Vries criteria, that indicates the complexity of the phenotype. The median De Vries score was significantly higher (P=0.002) in those patients with an imbalance (5, range 1-9) than in patients with a normal array result (3, range 0-7). This study provides accurate percentages of cryptic imbalances that can be detected by genome-wide array analysis in simple and complex de novo microscopically balanced chromosome rearrangements and confirms that these imbalances are more likely to occur in patients with a complex phenotype.

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