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Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2009 Apr;279(4):533-7. doi: 10.1007/s00404-008-0774-5. Epub 2008 Aug 28.

High throughput non-invasive determination of foetal Rhesus D status using automated extraction of cell-free foetal DNA in maternal plasma and mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Department Biomedicine, University Women's Hospital, Basel, Switzerland.



To examine the potential high throughput capability and efficiency of an automated DNA extraction system in combination with mass spectrometry for the non-invasive determination of the foetal Rhesus D status.


A total of 178 maternal plasma samples from RHD-negative pregnant women were examined, from which DNA was extracted using the automated Roche MagNA Pure system. Presence of the foetal RHD gene was detected by PCR for RHD exon 7 and subsequent analysis using the Sequenom MassArray mass spectrometric system.


We determined that as little as 15 pg of RHD-positive genomic DNA could be detected in a background of 585 pg of RHD-negative genomic DNA. The analysis of the clinical samples yielded a sensitivity and specificity of 96.1 and 96.1%, respectively.


Our study indicated that automated DNA extraction in combination with mass spectrometry permits the determination of foetal Rhesus D genotype with an accuracy comparable to the current approaches using real-time PCR.

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