Frequently Asked Questions: Cytogenetics

The answers to some of our most frequently asked questions on cytogenetic testing and the services we provide are below. We invite you to call us at 352.265.9900, or toll-free at 888.375.LABS (5227), if you have any additional questions.

I read about a fluorescence in-situ hybridization, or "FISH," test performed for a rare disorder online. Do you offer this FISH test?

Unfortunately, many FISH tests reported elsewhere have been developed within a specific laboratory with a research interest in a given rare disorder and may not be available as a clinical diagnostic test. Many of these FISH studies are often only made available by the laboratory that has developed the DNA probes on a research basis or for proprietary reasons. Clinical FISH testing is limited to those DNA probes that have been validated for use by the laboratory offering the test; this includes most commercial DNA probes that are available to the cytogenetic community at large.

Click here for a list of the FISH tests offered by UF Health Pathology Laboratories.

Do you offer aCGH microarray testing for prenatal diagnoses?

We do not offer aCGH microarray testing for prenatal diagnoses at this time. Although we are aware of a small number of laboratories in our country that are offering this form of prenatal testing, we do not believe it is appropriate for prenatal applications at this time, due to its various technical limitations. With the rapid advancements being made with this technology, however, we believe it will be only a short time before an acceptable aCGH platform is made practical for prenatal applications.

References: Manning M and Hudgins L. Use of array-based technology in the practice of medical genetics. Genet Med. 2007 Sept. 9(9):650-653.

Does UF Health Pathology Laboratories offer mutation analyses for specific disease genes?

We do not offer mutation analyses for specific genes. Our clinical testing services are limited to cytogenetic methods, which include conventional G-banding or karyotyping, FISH analyses and aCGH testing.

Mutation analyses are typically performed by molecular methods, such as PCR and gene-sequencing methods; however, we offer tissue culturing services to assist in generating an appropriate sample for testing by these methodologies in outside laboratories. Contact UF Health Pathology Laboratories' Molecular Pathology Laboratory (at the telephone numbers listed at the top of this webpage) for the availability of specific forms of molecular testing that may be applicable to meet your patient's needs.

Does UF Health Pathology Laboratories offer paternity testing?

We do not perform paternity testing directly; however, we will gladly assist in the preparation of additional cell cultures, especially those from concurrent prenatal studies being conducted by our laboratory (i.e., amniotic fluid or chorionic villi chromosome studies), which can be sent to the molecular laboratory of your choice. Contact UF Health Pathology Laboratories' Molecular Pathology Laboratory (at the telephone numbers listed at the top of this webpage) for availability.

How long does it take to get cytogenetics results?

Turnaround times for cytogenetic testing vary, depending on numerous factors, such as the:
  • Type of testing requested (i.e., prenatal, cancer, etc.);
  • Number of tests ordered per specimen;
  • Complexity of results; and
  • Quality of the sample submitted.
All conventional cytogenetic studies (aka karyotyping) require several days of some form of cell culture prior to the actual microscopic analysis.

STAT studies, which are critical for immediate patient management, can be arranged via consultation with the laboratory director. In special circumstances, preliminary verbal results may also be provided within 24 to 48 hours.

Turnaround times for general or routine (not stat or rush) studies include:
  • Prenatal Chromosome Studies: 8 - 14 days
  • Newborn Blood Chromosome Studies: 7 days or less
  • Routine Peripheral Blood Chromosome Studies: 10 - 21 days
  • Routine Neoplastic Marrow Chromosome Studies: 6 - 14 days

How do I order a STAT cytogenetics test?

STAT requests should be restricted to those cases for which cytogenetic results will directly and immediately impact patient management decisions and care.

Stat studies may only be ordered via direct consultation with the Cytogenetics Laboratory director (Call 352.265.0111, ext. 72009). In most cases, preliminary verbal results may be provided within 24 to 48 hours for specific test requests; this does not apply to all requested FISH panels requested.

What CPT codes does UF Health Pathology Laboratories use for cytogenetics testing?

Call UF Health Pathology Laboratories' Client Services Department at 352.265.9900 or toll-free at 888.375.LABS (5227) for CPT code usage inquiries.

Does UF Health Pathology Laboratories provide any reflex cytogenetics testing?

Only specifically ordered cytogenetic tests may be performed at this time; however, ordering physicians may indicate, in writing, a specific reflex algorithm they desire per case (i.e., if IGH FISH tests positive, then perform IGH/MAF and/or IGH/CCND1, etc.).

Unfortunately, the rules and regulations governing the applications of reflexive testing in laboratory medicine prohibit reflexive cytogenetic testing algorithms that have not been established, preapproved and documented by institutional medical policy and requesting parties. Universally applied or standard-of-care reflexive testing remains debatable for many high-complexity laboratory testing modalities, including cytogenetic testing, especially as relates to the employment of FISH panels.

How much does UF Health Pathology Laboratories charge for cytogenetics tests?

For pricing inquiries, call UF Health Pathology Laboratories' Client Services Department at 352.265.9900 or toll-free at 888.375.LABS (5227).

Cytogenetics