Background: Chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) is nowadays widely used in the diagnostic path of patients with clinical phenotypes. However, there is no ascertained evidence to date on how to assemble single/combined clinical categories of developmental phenotypic findings to improve the array-based detection rate. Methods: The Italian Society of Human Genetics coordinated a retrospective study which included CMA results of 5,110 Italian patients referred to 17 genetics laboratories for variable combined clinical phenotypes. Results: Non-polymorphic copy number variants (CNVs) were identified in 1512 patients (30%) and 615 (32%) present in 552 patients (11%) were classified as pathogenic. CNVs were analysed according to type, size, inheritance pattern, distribution among chromosomes, and association to known syndromes. In addition, the evaluation of the detection rate of clinical subgroups of patients allowed to associate dysmorphisms and/or congenital malformations combined with any other single clinical sign to an increased detection rate, whereas non-syndromic neurodevelopmental signs and non-syndromic congenital malformations to a decreased detection rate. Conclusions: Our retrospective study resulted in confirming the high detection rate of CMA and indicated new clinical markers useful to optimize their inclusion in the diagnostic and rehabilitative path of patients with developmental phenotypes.
- Chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA)
- clinical marker identification
- detection rate
- pathogenic CNV