Comparative genomic hybridization in combination with flow cytometry improves results of cytogenetic analysis of spontaneous abortions

Am J Hum Genet. 2000 May;66(5):1516-21. doi: 10.1086/302878. Epub 2000 Mar 30.


More than 50% of spontaneous abortions (SAs) have abnormal chromosomes; the most common abnormalities are trisomy, sex chromosome monosomy, and polyploidy. Conventional cytogenetic analysis of SAs depends on tissue culturing and is associated with a significant tissue culture failure rate and contamination by maternally derived cells. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), in combination with flow cytometry (FCM), can detect numerical and unbalanced structural chromosomal abnormalities associated with SAs while avoiding the technical problems associated with tissue culture. Routine cytogenetic and CGH analysis was performed independently on tissue from 301 SAs. Samples shown to be chromosomally balanced by CGH were analyzed by FCM to determine ploidy. Of 253 samples successfully analyzed by both approaches, there was an absolute correlation of results in 235 (92.8%). Of the 18 cases with discrepancies between cytogenetic and CGH/FCM results, an explanation could be found in 17. Twelve samples produced a 46,XX karyotype by cytogenetics, whereas CGH/FCM demonstrated aneuploidy/polyploidy or a male genome, indicating maternal contamination of the tissue cultures. In two cases, where tetraploidy was demonstrated by cytogenetics and diploidy by FCM, tissue culture artifact is implied. In three cases, CGH demonstrated an aneuploidy, and cytogenetics demonstrated hypertriploidy. In one unexplainable case, aneuploidy demonstrated by CGH could not be detected by repeat CGH analysis, conventional cytogenetic, or FISH analysis. These results demonstrate that CGH supplemented with FCM can readily identify chromosomal abnormalities associated with SAs and, by avoiding maternal contamination and tissue culture artifacts, can do so with a lower failure rate and more accuracy than conventional cytogenetic analysis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / diagnosis
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / genetics*
  • Aneuploidy
  • Artifacts
  • Chromosome Aberrations / genetics*
  • Culture Techniques
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry*
  • Genetic Testing / methods*
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization*
  • Ploidies
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex-Determining Region Y Protein
  • Transcription Factors*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Sex-Determining Region Y Protein
  • Transcription Factors