What is Chromosomal Microarray Analysis?

Chromosomal Microarray Analysis (also called CMA) is a test that looks for extra or missing genetic information. We all have changes in our genetic information, or DNA. These changes shape how we grow and develop. Some of these gene changes cause differences like hair and eye color; while other changes can be associated with health and/or developmental problems as the child grows.

Why should I consider this test for my child?

Your provider may recommend CMA testing if your child has problems with learning, physical development, has birth defects or had previous genetic testing like chromosome analysis with negative results. This test may help determine if a genetic change is the cause.

How is the test performed?

A small blood sample is collected from the child and is sent to the lab for analysis. The lab will issue a report of findings to the healthcare provider who ordered the test. Your healthcare provider will then discuss these results with you, and together you can decide on the next steps for your child’s health care.

What can I learn from the results of this test?

If the test detects a genetic change associated with health problems, this may help your healthcare provider diagnose the condition, which could help you better understand your child’s condition. It may be easier to understand future health problems and may help predict what to expect as your child gets older. It also may allow you and your healthcare providers to work together to give your child specialized medical care at an earlier age in order to maximize his or her potential. This information may also help at-risk family members to seek genetic testing and aid in future family planning.

If the test does not detect a genetic change associated with health problems, then your healthcare provider may recommend further testing.

Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if this test is right for your child.