CHARGE association is a non-random occurrence of congenital malformations including coloboma, heart disease, choanal atresia, retarded growth and/or retarded development, genital hypoplasia, ear anomalies and/or deafness. The cause of this association remains unknown. Various genetic mechanisms have been proposed, including a contiguous gene syndrome but, so far, no recurrent locus has been identified. To address this question, we decided to perform a comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) study on a cohort of 27 patients with CHARGE association and a normal standard karyotype. We found two chromosomal anomalies: a der(9)t(9;13) derived from a paternal translocation and a der(6)t(4;6) of unknown origin. This suggests that chromosome imbalances may well mimic CHARGE association. Therefore patients with CHARGE association must be carefully tested with classical and molecular cytogenetic techniques to detect a potential chromosome imbalance. It is expected that more stringent diagnostic criteria of CHARGE association could define a more homogeneous group of patients where a single genetic cause might be identified.