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Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Apr;91(4):506-10.

Prenatal diagnosis of the fetal Rhc genotype from peripheral maternal blood.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse, New York 13210, USA.



To determine the fetal Rhc genotype by using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification procedure and maternal blood at the different steps of the fetal cell enrichment process.


Maternal peripheral venous blood samples were obtained from 11 pregnant women homozygous for the C antigen before amniocentesis. Three were not alloimmunized and eight were alloimmunized. The fathers were known to be heterozygous or homozygous for the c antigen by serologic testing. The mononuclear cell layer was isolated from maternal blood and flow sorted using monoclonal antibodies to CD36 or CD71 and glycophorin A. This was followed by PCR of the blood, mononuclear cells, and the sorted cells with allele-specific primers to RhCc genes. Gel electrophoresis was performed to predict fetal Rhc genotype. The fetal RhCc genotype was confirmed by serologic and DNA testing.


All infants were positive for the Rhc gene. The positive fetal Rhc genotype was determined correctly in three of the 11 maternal blood samples without enrichment, in six of the nine mononuclear cell samples, and in seven of the eight sorted cell samples. The fetal genotype from one sorted sample was predicted to be homozygous C. One infant was determined by serology on cord blood to be negative for the c antigen, but repeated infant DNA amplification was consistent with the c genotype.


Noninvasive fetal Rhc genotyping can be determined by PCR amplification of the rare fetal cells in maternal blood. These data reaffirm that enrichment of maternal blood for fetal cells is necessary to improve the sensitivity of the test.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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