Chromosome fragility in patients with Fanconi anaemia: Diagnostic implications and clinical impact

Maria Castella, Roser Pujol, Elsa Callén, Maria J. Ramírez, Joséé A. Casado, Maria Talavera, Teresa Ferro, Arturo Muñoz, Julián Sevilla, Luis Madero, Elena Cela, Cristina Beléndez, Cristina Díaz de Heredia, Teresa Olivé, José Sánchez de Toledo, Isabel Badell, Jesús Estella, Ángeles Dasí, Antonia Rodríguez-Villa, Pedro GómezMaría Tapia, Antonio Molinés, Ángela Figuera, Juan A. Bueren, Jordi Surrallés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Fanconi anaemia (FA) is a rare syndrome characterized by bone marrow failure, malformations and cancer predisposition. Chromosome fragility induced by DNA interstrand crosslink (ICL)-inducing agents such as diepoxybutane (DEB) or mitomycin C (MMC) is the 'gold standard' test for the diagnosis of FA. Objective: To study the variability, the diagnostic implications and the clinical impact of chromosome fragility in FA. Methods: Data are presented from 198 DEB-induced chromosome fragility tests in patients with and without FA where information on genetic subtype, cell sensitivity to MMC and clinical data were available. Results: This large series allowed quantification of the variability and the level of overlap in ICL sensitivity among patients with FA and the normal population. A new chromosome fragility index is proposed that provides a cut-off diagnostic level to unambiguously distinguish patients with FA, including mosaics, from non-FA individuals. Spontaneous chromosome fragility and its correlation with DEB-induced fragility was also analysed, indicating that although both variables are correlated, 54% of patients with FA do not have spontaneous fragility. The data reveal a correlation between malformations and sensitivity to ICL-inducing agents. This correlation was also statistically significant when the analysis was restricted to patients from the FA-A complementation group. Finally, chromosome fragility does not correlate with the age of onset of haematological disease. Conclusions: This study proposes a new chromosome fragility index and suggests that genome instability during embryo development may be related to malformations in FA, while DEB-induced chromosome breaks in T cells have no prognostic value for the haematological disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-250
JournalJournal of Medical Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Chromosome fragility in patients with Fanconi anaemia: Diagnostic implications and clinical impact'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this