FISH for Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis

  • Paul N. Scriven
  • Caroline Mackie OgilvieEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 659)


Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is an established alternative to pre-natal diagnosis, and involves selecting pre-implantation embryos from a cohort generated by assisted reproduction technology (ART). This selection may be required because of familial monogenic disease (e.g. cystic fibrosis), or because one partner carries a chromosome rearrangement (e.g. a two-way reciprocal translocation). PGD is available for couples who have had previous affected children, and/or in the case of chromosome rearrangements, recurrent miscarriages, or infertility. Oocytes aspirated following ovarian stimulation are fertilized by in vitro immersion in semen (IVF) or by intracytoplasmic injection of individual spermatocytes (ICSI). Pre-implantation cleavage-stage embryos are biopsied, usually by the removal of a single cell on day 3 post-fertilization, and the biopsied cell is tested to establish the genetic status of the embryo.

Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on the fixed nuclei of biopsied cells with target-specific DNA probes is the technique of choice to detect chromosome imbalance associated with chromosome rearrangements, and to select female embryos in families with X-linked disease for which there is no mutation-specific test. FISH has also been used to screen embryos for sporadic chromosome aneuploidy (also known as PGS or PGD-AS) in order to try and improve the efficiency of assisted reproduction; however, due to the unacceptably low predictive accuracy of this test using FISH, it is not recommended for routine clinical use.

This chapter describes the selection of suitable probes for single-cell FISH, assessment of the analytical performance of the test, spreading techniques for blastomere nuclei, and in situ hybridization and signal scoring, applied to PGD in a clinical setting.

Key words

Fluorescence in situ hybridization Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis PGD Sex determination Translocations Chromosome aneuploidy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cytogenetics DepartmentGuy’s HospitalLondonUK
  2. 2.Guy’s and St Thomas’ Centre for Preimplantation Genetic DiagnosisGuy’s HospitalLondonUK

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