Mariam T Mathew, Melanie Babcock, Ying-Chen Claire Hou, Jesse M Hunter, Marco L Leung, Hui Mei, Kathleen Schieffer, Yassmine Akkari

Clinical Cytogenetics: Current Practices and Beyond

  • General Medicine

Abstract Background Throughout history, the field of cytogenetics has witnessed significant changes due to the constant evolution of technologies used to assess chromosome number and structure. Similar to the evolution of single nucleotide variant detection from Sanger sequencing to next-generation sequencing, the identification of chromosome alterations has progressed from banding to fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to chromosomal microarrays. More recently, emerging technologies such as optical genome mapping and genome sequencing have made noteworthy contributions to clinical laboratory testing in the field of cytogenetics. Content In this review, we journey through some of the most pivotal discoveries that have shaped the development of clinical cytogenetics testing. We also explore the current test offerings, their uses and limitations, and future directions in technology advancements. Summary Cytogenetics methods, including banding and targeted assessments like FISH, continue to hold crucial roles in cytogenetic testing. These methods offer a rapid turnaround time, especially for conditions with a known etiology involving recognized cytogenetic aberrations. Additionally, laboratories have the flexibility to now employ higher-throughput methodologies to enhance resolution for cases with greater complexity.

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