Genomic copy number microarrays have significantly increased the diagnostic yield over a karyotype for clinically significant imbalances in individuals with developmental delay, intellectual disability, multiple congenital anomalies, and autism, and they are now accepted as a first tier diagnostic test for these indications. As it is not feasible to validate microarray technology that targets the entire genome in the same manner as an assay that targets a specific gene or syndromic region, a new paradigm of validation and regulation is needed to regulate this important diagnostic technology. We suggest that these microarray platforms be evaluated and manufacturers regulated for the ability to accurately measure copy number gains or losses in DNA (analytical validation) and that the subsequent interpretation of the findings and assignment of clinical significance be determined by medical professionals with appropriate training and certification. To this end, the American College of Medical Genetics, as the professional organization of board-certified clinical laboratory geneticists, herein outlines recommendations for the design and performance expectations for clinical genomic copy number microarrays and associated software intended for use in the postnatal setting for detection of constitutional abnormalities.
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