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Mol Hum Reprod. 2005 May;11(5):381-7. Epub 2005 Apr 15.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis for neurofibromatosis type 1.

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Research Centre Reproduction and Genetics, University Hospital and Medical School, Dutch-speaking Brussels Free University, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Brussels, Belgium.


PGD is an alternative to prenatal diagnosis that circumvents therapeutic abortion. Diagnosis is carried out on single cells obtained from three-day-old embryos, and only those that are free of the disease under consideration are transferred to the mother. Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common neurocutaneous disorder, inherited as an autosomal dominant trait and caused by mutations in the NF1 gene. For some patients, PGD may be the only acceptable manner to ensure the birth of unaffected children. Because of the large number of known NF1 mutations, the development of mutation-specific single-cell protocols is impractical, labour-intensive and expensive. This paper discusses the development of five PGD protocols, three of which are based on multiplex PCR for microsatellite-markers linked to the NF1 gene. After a linkage study, the diagnosis can be established through the markers, thereby obviating the need to detect the mutation itself. This not only ensures the accurate diagnosis of the embryos, but also a prompt acceptance of PGD referrals since one protocol can be useful for several couples. In addition, two mutation-specific PCRs were developed for two couples where a marker-based protocol was not applicable. In total, 16 PGD cycles were carried out for six couples, which resulted in one ongoing pregnancy and the delivery of a healthy unaffected boy.

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