Use of interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization as a powerful diagnostic tool in cytology

Diagn Mol Pathol. 2002 Mar;11(1):47-57. doi: 10.1097/00019606-200203000-00009.


Interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (I-FISH) using labeled nucleic acid probes detects chromosomal and genetic aberrations at a cellular level. I-FISH is a relatively fast and sensitive technique for evaluating a large number of cells and revealing more specific information than other techniques. It has been proven to be an invaluable molecular test in cytologic analyses for the detection of subtle genetic alterations that correlate with disease progression. In this postgenomic era, with the draft of the human genome available and expansion of the knowledge of tumor-specific genetic changes, the application of I-FISH probes in cytologic analysis should be of great value in the early detection, risk assessment, and monitoring of therapy efficacy in cancer. Here, we outline the principle of the I-FISH procedure, present suggestions to efficiently analyze cytologic materials, provide examples of practical applications, and discuss new aspects of the technique.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence*
  • Interphase
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*


  • DNA, Neoplasm