Cytogenetic analysis is essential for the diagnosis and prognosis of hematopoietic neoplasms in current clinical practice. Many hematopoietic malignancies are characterized by structural chromosomal abnormalities such as specific translocations, inversions, deletions and/or numerical abnormalities that can be identified by karyotype analysis or fluorescence in situ
hybridization (FISH) studies. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays offer high-resolution identification of copy number variants (CNVs) and acquired copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity (LOH)/uniparental disomy (UPD) that are usually not identifiable by conventional cytogenetic analysis and FISH studies. As a result, SNP arrays have been increasingly applied to hematopoietic neoplasms to search for clinically-significant genetic abnormalities. A large numbers of CNVs and UPDs have been identified in a variety of hematopoietic neoplasms. CNVs detected by SNP array in some hematopoietic neoplasms are of prognostic significance. A few specific genes in the affected regions have been implicated in the pathogenesis and may be the targets for specific therapeutic agents in the future. In this review, we summarize the current findings of application of SNP arrays in a variety of hematopoietic malignancies with an emphasis on the clinically significant genetic variants.
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