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Keywords:

  • aCGH;
  • chromosomal abnormalities;
  • intrauterine death;
  • fetal death

Abstract

This study examined the utility of array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) in detecting genetic abnormalities associated with late pregnancy loss. Comparisons were made with classic cytogenetics to test whether aCGH represents a superior methodology for the clinical evaluation of stillbirth. Stillborn infants were selected for aCGH testing from the Wisconsin Stillbirth Service Program (WiSSP) database and tissue bank, based on abnormal clinical findings (presence of at least two abnormalities of two different organs or parts of the body). aCGH analysis was successfully completed in 15 cases which met the clinical criteria and for which sufficient amount of high quality DNA was recovered from archival material. The testing was performed using commercially available 1 Mb BAC arrays. Among 15 tested stillborns, aCGH detected two abnormalities (trisomy 21 and an unbalanced translocation between chromosomes 3 and 10), for an overall detection rate of 13% in stillborns with malformations who had normal or unobtainable cytogenetic results. This preliminary study supports the clinical value of aCGH testing in diagnostic evaluation of stillborns with congenital anomalies. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.