Over the last three decades, cytogenetic analysis of malignancies has become an integral part of disease evaluation and prediction of prognosis or responsiveness to therapy. In most diagnostic laboratories, conventional karyotyping, in conjunction with targeted fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis, is routinely performed to detect recurrent aberrations with prognostic implications. However, the genetic complexity of cancer cells requires a sensitive genome-wide analysis, enabling the detection of small genomic changes in a mixed cell population, as well as of regions of homozygosity. The advent of comprehensive high-resolution genomic tools, such as molecular karyotyping using comparative genomic hybridization or single-nucleotide polymorphism microarrays, has overcome many of the limitations of traditional cytogenetic techniques and has been used to study complex genomic lesions in, for example, leukemia. The clinical impact of the genomic copy-number and copy-neutral alterations identified by microarray technologies is growing rapidly and genome-wide array analysis is evolving into a diagnostic tool, to better identify high-risk patients and predict patients' outcomes from their genomic profiles. Here, we review the added clinical value of an array-based genome-wide screen in leukemia, and discuss the technical challenges and an interpretation workflow in applying arrays in the acquired cytogenetic diagnostic setting. Hum Mutat 33:941–948, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.