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Hum Genet. 1994 Nov;94(5):518-22.

Fluorescence in situ hybridization on paraffin-embedded abortion material as a means of retrospective chromosome analysis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


A fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) procedure was used to detect chromosome abnormalities in archival abortion material. Nuclei were isolated from 50-microns-thick tissue blocks from 18 selected and karyotyped abortions. Five probes for repetitive centromeric sequences of chromosomes 1, 16, 18, X and Y were used. For each chromosome, at least 200 nuclei were scored blindly, i.e. without knowledge of the karyotype. The FISH results obtained were compatible with the cytogenetic data in 14 cases. There were four discrepancies. Two of these were observed for cases karyotyped as trisomy 16. Furthermore, FISH results showed trisomy 18 in two cases having normal chromosomes 18 and 18q+, respectively. The latter case was not discrepant if the structural rearrangement involved chromosome 18 material. The remaining discrepancies could be explained by chromosomal mosaicism. Admixture of normal maternal cells was also noted. It is concluded that FISH can be used to study retrospectively the presence of chromosome abnormalities in abortion material. However, the quality obtained after the use of fresh material is superior.

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