Although many types of diagnostic and carrier testing for genetic disorders have been available for decades, the use of molecular methods is a relatively recent phenomenon. Such testing has expanded the range of disorders that can be diagnosed and has enhanced the ability of clinicians to provide accurate prognostic information and institute appropriate health supervision measures. However, the proper application of these tests may be difficult because of their scientific complexity and the potential for negative, sometimes unexpected, consequences for many patients. The purposes of this subject review are to provide background information on molecular genetic tests, to describe specific testing modalities, and to discuss some of the benefits and risks specific to the pediatric population. It is likely that pediatricians will use these testing methods increasingly for their patients and will need to evaluate critically their diagnostic and prognostic implications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health