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Comparative Genomic Hybridization: Practical Guidelines

Jeuken, Judith W. M. Ph.D.; Sprenger, Sandra H. E.; Wesseling, Pieter M.D., Ph.D.

Diagnostic Molecular Pathology: December 2002 - Volume 11 - Issue 4 - pp 193-203
Original Articles

Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) is a technique used to identify copy number changes throughout a genome. Until now, hundreds of CGH studies have been published reporting chromosomal imbalances in a large variety of human neoplasms. Additionally, technical improvements of specific steps in a CGH experiment and reviews on the technique have appeared. However, full CGH protocols are only occasionally published. In this paper a review of CGH is presented, including technique, pitfalls, and difficulties. Our own protocol is completely described and discussed, including the different optimization experiments used to establish this protocol and points requiring special attention. Although this protocol results in reliable and sensitive CGH experiments in our hands, readers should keep in mind that other laboratories may prefer other protocols. Testing different options, among others, as discussed in the current paper generates the most appropriate protocol. This paper shows the complexity of the CGH technique and may serve as a guideline for starting CGH or as a troubleshooting guide for those who perform CGH.

From the Department of Neurology (J.W.M.J., S.H.E.S.) and the Department of Pathology (P.W.), University Medical Center Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Supported by the Dutch Cancer Society (KUN 1999–1952).

Address reprint requests and correspondence to Dr. Judith W.M. Jeuken, Department of Neurology 321, University Medical Center Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands (e-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.