Enhanced detection of clinically relevant genomic imbalances using a targeted plus whole genome oligonucleotide microarray

Genet Med. 2008 Jun;10(6):415-29. doi: 10.1097/GIM.0b013e318177015c.


Purpose: Array comparative genomic hybridization is rapidly becoming an integral part of cytogenetic diagnostics. We report the design, validation, and clinical utility of an oligonucleotide array which combines genome-wide coverage with targeted enhancement at known clinically relevant regions.

Methods: Probes were placed every 75 kb across the entire euchromatic genome to establish a chromosomal "backbone" with a resolution of approximately 500 kb, which is increased to approximately 50 kb in targeted regions.

Results: For validation, 30 samples showed 100% concordance with previous G-banding and/or fluorescence in situ hybridization results. Prospective array analysis of 211 clinical samples identified 33 (15.6%) cases with clinically significant abnormalities. Of these, 23 (10.9%) were detected by the "targeted" coverage and 10 (4.7%) by the genome-wide coverage (average size of 3.7 Mb). All abnormalities were verified by fluorescence in situ hybridization, using commercially available or homebrew probes using the 32K bacterial artificial chromosome set. Four (1.9%) cases had previously reported imbalances of uncertain clinical significance. Five (2.4%) cases required parental studies for interpretation and all were benign familial variants.

Conclusions: Our results highlight the enhanced diagnostic utility of a genome-wide plus targeted array design, as the use of only a targeted array would have failed to detect 4.7% of the clinically relevant imbalances.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromosome Banding
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cytogenetics / methods*
  • Female
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods*
  • Oligonucleotide Probes / chemistry
  • Telomere / ultrastructure


  • Oligonucleotide Probes