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Over the last 15 years genetic testing by DNA analysis has expanded enormously both in volume and range due to advances in scientific knowledge and analytical technology. This type of analysis has the potential to provide rapid, cost effective, and accurate diagnostic information but also has its limitations. Some of the changes detected may be of ambiguous consequence and as the knowledge base expands so too does the recognition that other factors can influence the clinical picture. In many cases outcomes may be predicted only on a statistical basis rather than individually. Careful attention should therefore be given to the clinical question that is being addressed before such testing is requested.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch Dis Child

Publication Date





357 - 360


DNA, DNA Mutational Analysis, Genetic Testing, Humans, Informed Consent, Molecular Diagnostic Techniques