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FASEB J. 2012 Jan;26(1):250-8. doi: 10.1096/fj.11-191429. Epub 2011 Sep 30.

Effective detection of fetal sex using circulating fetal DNA in first-trimester maternal plasma.

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Kwan Dong University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The aim of this study was to develop a simple and effective method for noninvasively detecting fetal sex using circulating fetal DNA from first-trimester maternal plasma. A study was conducted with maternal plasma collected from 203 women between 5 and 12 wk of gestation. The presence of circulating fetal DNA was confirmed by a quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction of the unmethylated-PDE9A gene (U-PDE9A). Multiplex real-time PCR was used to simultaneously quantify the amount of DYS14 and GAPDH in maternal plasma. The results were confirmed by phenotype at birth. Pregnancy outcomes and U-PDE9A concentrations were obtained in all cases, including 99 male-bearing and 104 female-bearing participants. At equivalent specificity (100%), the false-negative rate was 9.1% for DYS14 quantification cycle, 7.1% for DYS14 concentration, and 0.0% for the concentration ratio of DYS14/GAPDH, respectively. In male-bearing participants, DYS14, U-PDE9A, and GAPDH concentrations were significantly lower in the false-negative case than in correct case (P<0.001 in all). Moreover, DYS14, U-PDE9A, and GAPDH concentrations showed significantly positive associations with each other (P≤0.001 in all). The ratio of DYS14/GAPDH in maternal plasma was an effective biomarker for noninvasive fetal sex detection during the first trimester, indicating that it could be useful for clinical application.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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