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Fetal Diagn Ther. 2007;22(1):41-4. Epub 2006 Sep 22.

CFTR DeltaF508 mutation detection from dried blood samples in the first trimester of pregnancy: a possible routine prenatal screening strategy for cystic fibrosis?

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Diagnostic Genetic Center, Athens, Greece.



The implementation and evaluation of a proposed wide-scale prenatal screening strategy, based on DNA isolated from dried blood spots in the first trimester of pregnancy, for the early detection of pregnancies at risk for cystic fibrosis (CF).


The screening was performed in conjunction with routine biochemical marker screening for Down's syndrome risk in the first trimester of pregnancy. DNA was isolated from 1,233 dried blood spots and analyzed for the presence of the CF transmembrane regulator DeltaF508 mutation. Women carriers were offered and accepted the option for additional full testing of their partners in order to assess the risk for the fetus.


All 1,233 samples were successfully analyzed, identifying 23 DeltaF508 carriers, corresponding to a DeltaF508 carrier rate of approximately 1/55 (1.8%). All partners of the women carriers were further tested without revealing any need for further prenatal testing in this group.


This study reveals the relatively high frequency of the DeltaF508 CF mutation in the Greek population. More importantly, we demonstrate that the proposed prenatal screening strategy, based on the ease and cost-effectiveness of the analysis for the detection of a single common mutation, can be considered as a feasible and practical approach for wide-scale prenatal screening for CF, following the sequential model. It is applied early on in pregnancy, allowing for the timely management of families at risk for the corresponding genetic disorders. Finally, it can easily be extended to include screening for other common genetic disorders in specific population groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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