Detection rates of clinically significant genomic alterations by microarray analysis for specific anomalies detected by ultrasound

Prenat Diagn. 2012 Oct;32(10):986-95. doi: 10.1002/pd.3943. Epub 2012 Jul 30.


Objective: The aim of this study is to understand the diagnostic utility of comparative genomic hybridization (CGH)-based microarrays for pregnancies with abnormal ultrasound findings.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 2858 pregnancies with abnormal ultrasounds and normal karyotypes (when performed) tested in our laboratory using CGH microarrays targeted to known chromosomal syndromes with later versions providing backbone coverage of the entire genome. Abnormalities were stratified according to organ system involvement. Detection rates for clinically significant findings among these categories were calculated.

Results: Clinically significant genomic alterations were identified in cases with a single ultrasound anomaly (n = 99/1773, 5.6%), anomalies in two or more organ systems (n = 77/808, 9.5%), isolated growth abnormalities (n = 2/76, 2.6%), and soft markers (n = 2/77, 2.6%). The following anomalies in isolation or with additional anomalies had particularly high detection rates: holoprosencephaly (n = 9/85, 10.6%), posterior fossa defects (n = 21/144, 14.6%), skeletal anomalies (n = 15/140, 10.7%), ventricular septal defect (n = 14/132, 10.6%), hypoplastic left heart (n = 11/68, 16.2%), and cleft lip/palate (n = 14/136, 10.3%).

Conclusions: Microarray analysis identified clinically significant genomic alterations in 6.5% of cases with one or more abnormal ultrasound findings; the majority were below the resolution of karyotyping. Larger data sets such as this allow for sub-stratification by specific anomalies to determine risks for genomic alterations detectable by microarray analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone and Bones / abnormalities
  • Brain / abnormalities
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Comparative Genomic Hybridization*
  • Congenital Abnormalities / diagnostic imaging*
  • Congenital Abnormalities / genetics
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / genetics
  • Holoprosencephaly / diagnostic imaging
  • Holoprosencephaly / genetics
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Microarray Analysis / methods*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal