Array-based comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) genome scanning is a powerful method for the global detection of gains and losses of genetic material in both congenital and neoplastic disorders. When used as a clinical diagnostic test, array CGH combines the whole genome perspective of traditional G-banded cytogenetics with the targeted identification of cryptic chromosomal abnormalities characteristic of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). However, the presence of structural variants in the human genome can complicate analysis of patient samples, and array CGH does not provide morphologic information about chromosome structure, balanced translocations, or the actual chromosomal location of segmental duplications. Identification of such anomalies has significant diagnostic and prognostic implications for the patient. We therefore propose that array CGH should be used as a guide to the presence of genomic structural rearrangements in germline and tumor genomes that can then be further characterized by FISH or G-banding, depending on the clinical scenario. In this article, we share some of our experiences with diagnostic array CGH and discuss recent progress and challenges involved with the integration of array CGH into clinical laboratory medicine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine