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Lancet. 2004 May 15;363(9421):1633-41.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis.

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  • 1Centre for Medical Genetics, University Hospital and Medical School, Dutch-speaking Brussels Free University, Brussels, Belgium. Karen.sermon@az.vub.ac.be


Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) was introduced at the beginning of the 1990s as an alternative to prenatal diagnosis, to prevent termination of pregnancy in couples with a high risk for offspring affected by a sex-linked genetic disease. At that time, embryos obtained in vitro were tested to ascertain their sex, and only female embryos were transferred. Since then, techniques for genetic analysis at the single-cell level, involving assessment of first and second polar bodies from oocytes or blastomeres from cleavage-stage embryos, have evolved. Fluorescence in-situ hybridisation (FISH) has been introduced for the analysis of chromosomes and PCR for the analysis of genes in cases of monogenic diseases. In-vitro culture of embryos has also improved through the use of sequential media. Here, we provide an overview of indications for, and techniques used in, PGD, and discuss results obtained with the technique and outcomes of pregnancies. A brief review of new technologies is also included.

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