Specific chromosomal abnormalities have been identified in some bone and soft tissue sarcomas. The presence of these chromosomal abnormalities can support a particular diagnosis, help to sub-classify a lesion and may provide information associated with a poor prognosis. However, this technology is expensive, available to only a minority of laboratories, depends on successful cell culture of the tumour cells, requires the immediate dispatch of fresh tumour tissue from the operating theatre to the pathology laboratory and in most cases does not provide any additional information that cannot be obtained by histology and immunohistochemistry. Nevertheless, cyto-genetics is an interesting technique and major developments are taking place. In time, technological advances will render the technique much more widely available even to smaller laboratories and pathologists should therefore be aware of its applications.

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