Cytogenetics

Cytogenetics

Constance K. Stein, PhD, Director
Phone: 315 464-4716

Antony Shrimpton, PhD, Assistant Director
Phone: 315 464-6807
Email: shrimpta@upstate.edu

Lori Plaisted, BS, CLSp(CG), Cytogenetics Laboratory Supervisor
Phone: 315 464-4716
Email: plaistel@upstate.edu

The primary tool of Cytogenetics is karyotype analysis which evaluates all of the chromosomes of a set to determine if there are any changes present that may be associated with disease. Cytogenetic evaluation is utilized in prenatal diagnosis, genetic carrier testing, and assessment of congenital disorders and hematologic disorders. Appropriate specimens include peripheral blood, bone marrow, tissue, and amniotic fluid. Computer technology is very important, allowing the images to be captured and stored electronically. Advanced studies utilize fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for the detection of molecular level abnormalities.

NEW Microarray Analysis – The Next Generation of Genetic Testing

Human chromosome SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) microarray (CSM) testing allows detection of known and novel chromosome aberrations across the entire human genome, including

  • Detection of gain or loss of genetic material
  • uniparental isodisomy
  • copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity
  • low-level mosaicism

This assay does not replace current testing such as karyotype analysis, which identifies larger anomalies, or molecular diagnostics and FISH, that target individual loci, but microarray expands current genetic testing by identifying very small abnormalities throughout the genome.

Clinical indications
For patients with developmental delay, dysmorphic features, multiple congenital anomalies, seizure disorders, autism spectrum disorders, myelomas, lymphomas, leukemias, myelodysplasia, or other suspected genetic syndromes or hematological disorders caused by loss or gain of genetic material.

In 2010, chromosomal microarray was confirmed as a first tier clinical technique for individuals found to have developmental disabilities or congenital anomalies not related to a known syndrome.

Methodology
The Cytogenetics Laboratory uses the CytoScan HD Array System from Affymetrix. The SNP based array contains more than 2.4 million markers for copy number and 750,000 SNPs for genome-wide coverage.

The Laboratory has validated the assay and was approved by the New York State Department of Health to offer the testing clinically for suspected genetic diseases and oncology

Specimen Requirements
  1. Peripheral Blood
    • Adults: 3-5 mL in a green top preservative-free sodium heparin Vacutainer tube
    • Infants or children: minimum of 1-2 mL of whole blood (ideally 2-3 mL) in a pediatric green top tube
  2. Bone Marrow
    • Submit 1-5 mL of FIRST aspirate in a green sodium heparin Vacutainer tube
  3. All Specimens
    • Must be correctly labeled
    • Store and transport at room temperature.
    • Deliver to laboratory within 24 hours of collection
  4. Required Forms:
    • F86972 - Blood and Bone Marrow Requisition
    • F88925 - Consent for Chromosome SNP Microarray Testing