Introducing array comparative genomic hybridization into routine prenatal diagnosis practice: a prospective study on over 1000 consecutive clinical cases


Francesco Fiorentino, ‘GENOMA’ Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Via Po, 102 00198 Rome, Italy.




To assess the feasibility of offering array-based comparative genomic hybridization testing for prenatal diagnosis as a first-line test, a prospective study was performed, comparing the results achieved from array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) with those obtained from conventional karyotype.


Women undergoing amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling were offered aCGH analysis. A total of 1037 prenatal samples were processed in parallel using both aCGH and G-banding for standard karyotyping. Specimen types included amniotic fluid (89.0%), chorionic villus sampling (9.5%) and cultured amniocytes (1.5%).


Chromosomal abnormalities were identified in 34 (3.3%) samples; in 9 out of 34 cases (26.5%) aCGH detected pathogenic copy number variations that would not have been found if only a standard karyotype had been performed. aCGH was also able to detect chromosomal mosaicism at as low as a 10% level. There was complete concordance between the conventional karyotyping and aCGH results, except for 2 cases that were only correctly diagnosed by aCGH.


This study demonstrates that aCGH represents an improved diagnostic tool for prenatal detection of chromosomal abnormalities. Although larger studies are needed, our results provide further evidence on the feasibility of introducing aCGH as a first-line diagnostic test in routine prenatal diagnosis practice. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.