Taking a sample of your cells is the initial step in karyotyping. The cells in the sample can come from a variety of tissues. The sample may include:
- Amniotic fluid
- Bone marrow
Depending on the body part being tested, sampling can be done in various ways. If amniotic fluid needs to be analyzed, the doctor will utilize amniocentesis to collect the sample.
Following the collection of the sample, it is placed in a laboratory dish where the cells can develop. The cells from the sample will be stained by a lab technician. Then, the pathologist will be able to examine the chromosomes under a microscope.
Under a microscope, these colored cells are evaluated for possible abnormalities:
- chromosomes that aren’t supposed to be there
- chromosomes that are missing
- chromosomes that are missing in parts
- chromosomes with additional segments
- parts of a chromosome that have separated and attached to another