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Molecular cytogenetic techniques on uncultured prenatal samples are the sole tests applied in some countries in cases with advanced maternal age (AMA) or increased risk after prenatal screening. Moreover, there is a trend to perform invasive prenatal diagnosis (PD) during the first trimester before ultrasound manifestations, so new rapid and reliable assays are necessary to investigate microdeletions not detectable with the conventional karyotype. We report the validation study of the prenatal bacterial artificial chromosomes-on-Beads™ (BoBs™; CE-IVD), a bead-based multiplex assay detecting chromosomes 13, 18, 21, X/Y aneuploidies and nine microdeletion regions having an overall detection rate of 1/1700.We retrospectively studied 408 selected samples and prospectively tested 212 consecutive samples ascertained for conventional karyotyping.We did not find false-positive results. Triploidies were not detected. Maternal cell contamination of male samples up to 90% was unmasked inspecting gonosome profiles. Mosaic conditions at 20 to 30% were revealed. Failures were due to low amount of DNA.Prenatal BoBs™ is a robust technology for the investigation of fetuses with normal karyotype with or without sonographic abnormalities. Running in parallel with the karyotype analysis, it can be proposed instead of rapid FISH or QF-PCR providing rapid results on common aneuploidies and additional information regarding the microdeletion syndromes. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.