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Prenat Diagn. 2001 May;21(5):399-402.

Detection of Y chromosome-specific DNA in the plasma and urine of pregnant women using nested polymerase chain reaction.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait.


The present study was undertaken to evaluate a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of Y chromosome-specific fetal DNA in maternal plasma and urine of pregnant women during different gestational stages. DNA isolated from plasma and urine samples of 80 pregnant women (between 7 and 40 weeks' gestation) underwent amplification for Y chromosome-specific 198 bp DNA by nested PCR. The postpartum analysis of fetal gender showed that 55 women carried male and 25 female fetuses. Among the 55 women bearing male fetuses, Y chromosome-specific signals were detected in 53 (96%) plasma and 21 (38%) urine samples. Moreover, out of 25 women bearing female fetuses, 3 (12%) and 1 (4%) women had Y chromosome-specific signal in plasma and urine, respectively. Analysis of results with respect to gestational age revealed that there was no significant difference in the detection of Y chromosome-specific DNA between different trimesters in maternal plasma of women bearing male fetuses. These results showed that fetus-specific DNA was detected with high sensitivity (96%) and specificity (88%) in the maternal plasma by nested PCR, and therefore the method could be useful as a non-invasive procedure for fetal sex determination and prenatal diagnosis.

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