Fetal DNA in maternal plasma: application to non-invasive blood group genotyping of the fetus

Y M Lo
Transfusion Clinique et Biologique: Journal de la Société Française de Transfusion Sanguine 2001, 8 (3): 306-10
The non-invasive determination of fetal genetic characteristics, including blood group types, is a long-sought goal of modern genetics. Previous work on the use of fetal cells in maternal blood has been hampered by the rarity of such cells. The recent discovery of cell-tree fetal DNA in maternal blood has opened up new possibilities for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. It is particularly useful that fetal DNA is present in relatively high concentrations in maternal plasma, making its robust detection possible using modern technology. Large-scale clinical trials and standardization of protocols still need to be carried out. However, there is optimism that the accurate and safe prenatal determination of fetal blood group types may be achieved in routine clinical practice in the near future.

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