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Chromosomal Microarrays in Prenatal Diagnosis: Time for a Change of Policy?

Author(s): Peter Miny | Friedel Wenzel | Sevgi Tercanli | Isabel Filges

Journal: Microarrays
ISSN 2076-3905

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 304;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: microarrays | array CGH | prenatal diagnosis

Microarrays have replaced conventional karyotyping as a first-tier test for unbalanced chromosome anomalies in postnatal cytogenetics mainly due to their unprecedented resolution facilitating the detection of submicroscopic copy number changes at a rate of 10–20% depending on indication for testing. A number of studies have addressed the performance of microarrays for chromosome analyses in high risk pregnancies due to abnormal ultrasound findings and reported an excess detection rate between 5% and 10%. In low risk pregnancies, clear pathogenic copy number changes at the submicroscopic level were encountered in 1% or less. Variants of unclear clinical significance, unsolicited findings, and copy number changes with variable phenotypic consequences are the main issues of concern in the prenatal setting posing difficult management questions. The benefit of microarray testing may be limited in pregnancies with only moderately increased risks (advanced maternal age, positive first trimester test). It is suggested to not change the current policy of microarray application in prenatal diagnosis until more data on the clinical significance of copy number changes are available.
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