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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012 Aug;25(8):1370-4. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2011.635730. Epub 2012 Feb 24.

Noninvasive prenatal diagnosis of common fetal chromosomal aneuploidies by maternal plasma DNA sequencing.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.



To develop a new bioinformatic method in the noninvasive prenatal identification of common fetal aneuploidies using massively parallel sequencing on maternal plasma.


Massively parallel sequencing was performed on plasma DNA samples from 108 pregnant women (median gestation: 12(+5) week) immediately before chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis. Data were analysed using a novel z-score method with internal reference chromosome. The diagnostic accuracies of the fetal karyotyping status were compared against two previously reported z-score methods--one without adjustment and the other with GC correction.


A total of 32 cases with fetal aneuploidy were confirmed by conventional karyotyping, including 11 cases of Trisomy 21, 10 cases of Trisomy 18, 2 cases of Trisomy 13, 8 cases of Turner syndrome (45, XO) and one case of Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY). Using the z-score method without reference adjustment, the detection rate for Trisomy 21, Trisomy 18, Trisomy 13, Turner syndrome, and Klinefelter's syndrome is 100%, 40%, 0%, 88% and 0% respectively. Using the z-score method with GC correction, the detection rate increased to 100% for Trisomy 21, 90% for Trisomy 18, 100% for Trisomy 13. By using the z-score method with internal reference, the detection rate increased to 100% for all aneuploidies. The false positive rate was 0% for all three methods.


This massively parallel sequencing-based approach, combined with the improved z-score test methodology, enables the prenatal diagnosis of most common aneuploidies with a high degree of accuracy, even in the first trimester of pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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