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Journal Articles European Journal of Medical Genetics Year : 2016

Karyotype is not dead (yet)!


Background: While array-comparative genomic hybridization (a-CGH) and next-generation sequencing (NGS or exome) technologies have swiftly spread throughout the medical field, karyotype has gradually lost its leading role among genetic tests. Several international guidelines recommend starting with a-CGH screening then going on with exome analysis when investigating a patient with intellectual disability (ID) and no precise clinical diagnosis. A-CGH and whole exome sequencing increase etiologic diagnoses rate up to 30% in case of ID. However, physicians have to deal with the lack of qualitative information of the genome. Especially, exome and a-CGH analysis fail to detect chromosomal rearrangements because breakpoints are either located in introns or not associated with a gain or loss of genetic material. If these technologies cannot easily identify chromosomal translocations or inversions which sometimes split a gene, karyotype can. Discussion: For the 5 cases described, karyotype provided the right diagnosis for a Mendelian disease while molecular analysis remained unsuccessful. We conclude that when a Mendelian disease is strongly suggested clinically, if molecular analysis is normal, it could be very useful to carry out a karyotype in order to demonstrate a chromosomal rearrangement involving the targeted gene. If this gene is disrupted, the physician can confirm the suspected disease and give appropriate genetic counseling. Summary This article aims at keeping in mind that karyotype, this old-fashioned genetic tool, can still remain powerful and useful within some genetic issues. Even in this modern period of whole exome sequencing, young geneticists should know that karyotype remains a powerful and cheap technology, available throughout the world and can still do a lot for families
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hal-01243035 , version 1 (14-12-2015)



Laurent Pasquier, Mélanie Fradin, Elouan Chérot, Dominique Martin-Coignard, Estelle Colin, et al.. Karyotype is not dead (yet)!. European Journal of Medical Genetics, 2016, 59 (1), pp.11-15. ⟨10.1016/j.ejmg.2015.11.016⟩. ⟨hal-01243035⟩
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