Fetal RhD genotyping from maternal plasma

Y M Lo
Annals of Medicine 1999, 31 (5): 308-12
The prenatal diagnosis of fetal rhesus D (RhD) status is useful for the management of RhD-negative women with partners heterozygous for the RHD gene. Conventional methods for prenatal fetal RhD status determination involve invasive procedures such as fetal blood sampling and amniocentesis. The recent demonstration of the existence of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma and serum opens up the possibility of determining fetal RhD status by analysis of maternal plasma or serum DNA. This possibility has recently been realized by three independent groups of investigators. This development represents an important step towards the routine application of noninvasive fetal blood group diagnosis in sensitized pregnancies and may become a model for developing safer noninvasive prenatal tests for other single-gene disorders.

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