Copy number variations and fetal ventriculomegaly

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Ventriculomegaly is one of the most common abnormal sonographic findings, which is associated with congenital infection, chromosomal and additional structural abnormalities. Currently, karyotype analysis is the primary method to detect chromosomal abnormalities in fetuses with ventriculomegaly. Recently, with the introduction of chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) in prenatal diagnosis, copy number variations (CNVs) have been identified in cases of ventriculomegaly. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current knowledge about the genetic cause of fetal ventriculomegaly, with particular attention to primary articles regarding the association between CNVs and fetal ventriculomegaly.

Recent findings

Recent studies have disclosed that in addition to numerical chromosomal abnormalities and large chromosomal imbalances, pathogenic CNVs are another important genetic cause of fetal ventriculomegaly, which may be involved in the pathological process of fetal ventriculomegaly as well as postnatal neurodevelopmental disorders. Furthermore, it is reported that the incidences of pathogenic CNVs in fetuses with ventriculomegaly were associated with the presence of other structural anomalies, but were irrelevant to the severity of ventriculomegaly.

Summary

CNVs are an important cause of fetal ventriculomegaly and CMA should be offered to all fetuses with ventriculomegaly, regardless of the degree of ventriculomegaly or whether combined with other structural anomalies.

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