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Prenat Diagn. 2006 Aug;26(8):672-8.

First- and second-trimester Down syndrome screening markers in pregnancies achieved through assisted reproductive technologies (ART): a FASTER trial study.

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Women and Infants Hospital and Brown Medical School, Providence, RI 02903, USA.



To determine whether first- and second-trimester Down syndrome screening markers and screen-positive rates are altered in pregnancies conceived using assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs).


ART pregnancies in the multicenter FASTER trial were identified. Marker levels were evaluated for five types of ART: in vitro fertilization with ovulation induction (IVF-OI), IVF with OI and egg donation (IVF-OI-ED), IVF with ED (IVF-ED), and intrauterine insemination with OI (IUI-OI) or without OI (IUI). Each group was compared to non-ART controls using Mann-Whitney U analysis.


First-trimester marker levels were not significantly different between ART and control pregnancies, with the exception of reduced PAPP-A levels in the IUI-OI group. In contrast, second-trimester inhibin A levels were increased in all ART pregnancies, estriol was reduced and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) was increased in IVF and IUI pregnancies without ED, and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) was increased in ED pregnancies. Second-trimester screen-positive rates were significantly higher than expected for ART pregnancies, except when ED was used.


These data show that ART significantly impacts second-, but not first-, trimester markers and screen-positive rates. The type of adjustment needed in second-trimester screening depends on the particular type of ART used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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