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J Ultrasound Med. 2010 Dec;29(12):1741-7.

Model-predicted performance of second-trimester Down syndrome screening with sonographic prenasal thickness.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



The purpose of this study was to estimate the Down syndrome detection and false-positive rates for second-trimester sonographic prenasal thickness (PT) measurement alone and in combination with other markers.


Multivariate log Gaussian modeling was performed using numerical integration. Parameters for the PT distribution, in multiples of the normal gestation-specific median (MoM), were derived from 105 Down syndrome and 1385 unaffected pregnancies scanned at 14 to 27 weeks. The data included a new series of 25 cases and 535 controls combined with 4 previously published series. The means were estimated by the median and the SDs by the 10th to 90th range divided by 2.563. Parameters for other markers were obtained from the literature.


A log Gaussian model fitted the distribution of PT values well in Down syndrome and unaffected pregnancies. The distribution parameters were as follows: Down syndrome, mean, 1.334 MoM; log(10) SD, 0.0772; unaffected pregnancies, 0.995 and 0.0752, respectively. The model-predicted detection rates for 1%, 3%, and 5% false-positive rates for PT alone were 35%, 51%, and 60%, respectively. The addition of PT to a 4-serum marker protocol increased detection by 14% to 18% compared with serum alone. The simultaneous sonographic measurement of PT and nasal bone length increased detection by 19% to 26%, and with a third sonographic marker, nuchal skin fold, performance was comparable with first-trimester protocols.


Second-trimester screening with sonographic PT and serum markers is predicted to have a high detection rate, and further sonographic markers could perform comparably with first-trimester screening protocols.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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