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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1997 May;176(5):1107-11.

Polymerase chain reaction determination of RhC, Rhc, and RhE blood types: an evaluation of accuracy and clinical utility.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Polymerase chain reaction amplification of a portion of the RhC/c/E/e gene could lead to a rapid, accurate determination of fetal RhC/c/E status. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of this technique by testing for the first time a large number of deoxyribonucleic acid samples derived from individuals whose RhC/c/E status was established by standard serologic methods. We also evaluated the potential clinical utility of polymerase chain reaction to ascertain fetal antigen status.

STUDY DESIGN:

Samples were obtained from Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain families used for studies of genetic variation (n = 655). Deoxyribonucleic acid was extracted by standard techniques. With few modifications, published primers and reaction conditions were used. Samples were digested with restriction enzymes yielding characteristic electrophoresis patterns for RhC/c/E. Clinical utility was assessed by review of all patients evaluated for erythrocyte sensitization.

RESULTS:

RhC-positive (n = 479), RhC-negative (n = 176), Rhc-positive (n = 524), Rhc-negative (n = 131), RhE-positive (n = 131) and RhE-negative (n = 524) samples were evaluated. The sensitivity of RhC/ c and E typing by polymerase chain reaction was 98.3%, 98.1%, and 96.9%, respectively. The specificity of polymerase chain reaction for identifying the RhC/c/E antigens was 91.5%, 94.7%, and 99.2%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although it would appear that use of polymerase chain reaction to establish RhC/c/E type could aid in evaluation of RhC/c/E sensitization, we are concerned about the instances of antigen-positive individuals characterized as antigen negative. Further study is necessary to determine if this reflects a polymorphism, mutation, a data coding error, or a combination. The Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain database is known to contain such errors at a rate that may surpass the error rate of our testing. A second molecular technique could be used to achieve better accuracy in the ascertainment of Rh C/c/E type. On the basis of a review of our patient population, molecular deoxyribonucleic acid techniques now available could aid the management of erythrocyte sensitization in pregnancy in > 96% of cases.

PMID:
9166177
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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