Fluorescence in situ hybridization is a molecular cytogenetic technique in which fluorescently labeled DNA probes are hybridized to metaphase spreads or interphase nuclei. Applications include identification of structurally abnormal chromosomes, including identification of marker chromosomes, detection of very small deletions (microdeletions), and rapid detection of Down syndrome and other numerical chromosome abnormalities; and the rapid detection of sex chromosomes and the SRY gene. FISH should be used in conjunction with G-banded chromosome analysis. FISH is performed upon request when a specific numerical or structural abnormality or microdeletion is suspected. FISH is also utilized to confirm microdeletions identified during high resolution chromosome analysis and to aid in identification of abnormal chromosomes.