Implementation of genomic arrays in prenatal diagnosis: the Belgian approach to meet the challenges

Eur J Med Genet. 2014 Mar;57(4):151-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2014.02.002. Epub 2014 Feb 15.


After their successful introduction in postnatal testing, genome-wide arrays are now rapidly replacing conventional karyotyping in prenatal diagnostics. While previous studies have demonstrated the advantages of this method, we are confronted with difficulties regarding the technology and the ethical dilemmas inherent to genomic arrays. These include indication for testing, array design, interpretation of variants and how to deal with variants of unknown significance and incidental findings. The experiences with these issues reported in the literature are most often from single centres. Here, we report on a national consensus approach how microarray is implemented in all genetic centres in Belgium. These recommendations are subjected to constant re-evaluation based on our growing experience and can serve as a useful tool for those involved in prenatal diagnosis.

Keywords: Copy number variant; Guidelines; Incidental finding; Prenatal diagnosis; Prenatal microarray; Variant of unknown significance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Belgium
  • Comparative Genomic Hybridization / methods*
  • Consensus
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Diseases / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*