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The use of high-resolution SNP arrays to detect congenital cardiac defects.

OBJECTIVE: Copy number variations (CNVs) detected by high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism microarrays (SNP arrays) have been associated with congenital heart defects (CHDs). The genetic mechanism underlying the development of CHDs remains unclear.

METHODS: High-resolution SNP arrays were used to detect CNVs and traditional chromosomal analyses, respectively, were carried out on 60 and 249 fetuses from gestational 12-37 weeks old, having isolated or complex CHDs that were diagnosed using prenatal ultrasound.

RESULTS: Twenty of the 60 fetuses (33.5%) had abnormalities, of which 23 CNVs (12 pathogenic, five probable pathogenic and six of undetermined significance) were detected by SNP arrays, and two distinct CNVs were present in three of these fetuses. In addition, in 39 patients with isolated congenital heart disease who had normal karyotypes, abnormal CNVs were present in 28.2% (11/39), and in patients with complex coronary artery disease, 19.0% (4/21) had abnormal karyotypes and 42.9% (9/21) had abnormal CNVs. In patients with complex coronary artery disease, 19.0% (4/21) had abnormal karyotypes and 42.9% (9/21) had abnormal CNVs.

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, genome-wide high-resolution SNP array can improve the diagnostic rate and uncover additional pathogenic CNVs. The submicroscopic deletions and duplications of Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) genes found in this study have haploinsufficient (deletion) or triplosensitive (duplication) traits, which further clarify the etiology and inheritance of CHDs.

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