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Hum Reprod. 2001 Jul;16(7):1501-4.

First-trimester screening for trisomy 21 in singleton pregnancies achieved by assisted reproduction.

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  • 1Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital Medical School, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK.



The possible effect of assisted reproduction on first-trimester screening for trisomy 21 was examined by fetal nuchal translucency thickness (NT), maternal serum free beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A).


Parameters were measured at 11-14 weeks in 411 singleton pregnancies achieved by controlled ovarian stimulation, including 220 that had undergone IVF. Results were compared with 1233 singleton pregnancies conceived spontaneously.


In the IVF pregnancies, the median fetal NT was not significantly different from that in controls, whilst the median free beta-HCG was significantly increased, and PAPP-A was significantly decreased. In the intracytoplasmic sperm injection group, fetal NT and free beta-HCG values were not significantly different from those in controls, but PAPP-A was significantly decreased. In those pregnancies achieved by ovarian stimulation, neither fetal NT, free beta-HCG nor PAPP-A were significantly different from the control group.


In IVF pregnancies, screening for trisomy 21 by fetal NT, maternal serum free beta-HCG and PAPP-A levels may be associated with a 1.2% higher false-positive rate than in natural conception.

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