[Application of next-generation DNA sequencing for prenatal testing of fetal chromosomal aneuploidies]

Jing Liu, Hua Wang, Hui Xi, Zhengjun Jia, Yuchun Zhou, Lingqian Wu
Zhonghua Yi Xue Yi Chuan Xue za Zhi, Zhonghua Yixue Yichuanxue Zazhi, Chinese Journal of Medical Genetics 2015, 32 (4): 533-7

OBJECTIVE: To explore the value of next-generation sequencing for the non-invasive prenatal testing of fetal chromosomal aneuploidies.

METHODS: Plasma from 4004 women with singleton pregnancy at a gestational age between 12-35(+5) weeks was collected prior to amniocentesis between April 19th 2011 and December 31st 2013. The samples were divided into three groups: (1) High risk for Down syndrome by biochemical screening; (2) Advanced maternal age; (3) Abnormalities by ultrasound or other methods. Plasma DNA extracted from above samples was sequenced at low coverage. Positive results were verified against the karyotypes of the fetuses. For those with negative results, the fetuses were followed up by telephone call for at least six months after birth.

RESULTS: Among 4003 samples subjected to non-invasive prenatal diagnosis, 66 (1.65%) had a positive result. In group 1, 22 cases of trisomy 21 (T21), 3 cases of trisomy 18 (T18), 1 case of 13 trisomy (T13), 8 cases of 45,X and 2 cases of other chromosomal abnormality were detected. In group 2, 13 cases of T21, 2 cases of T18, 1 case of T13, 5 cases of 45,X, 2 cases of 47,XXN and 1 case of other chromosomal abnormality were detected. In group 3, 1 case of T21, 1 case of T18, 1 case of T13, and 3 cases of 47,XXN were detected. For 55 samples underwent prenatal diagnosis, 30 cases of T21 and 4 cases of T18 were discovered, which was consistent with the results of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. For the 13 cases indicated as 45,X, 3 were verified by karyotype analysis, 2 were verified as mosaicism (45,X/46,XN), 8 were 46,XN (false positives). For the 5 cases indicated as 47,XXN, 2 were verified by karyotype analysis, the other 3 were 46,XN (false positives). Karyotypes of 3 cases suspected for other chromosomal abnormalities were all verified as 46,XN (false positive). Until May 1st 2014, telephone follow-up for those with negative screening results only identified a boy with facial abnormalities and developmental delay, which was similar to his older sister, combined karyotyping and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis has verified the karyotype of the boy as 46,XY,rec(14)dup(14q)inv(14)(p12q14)pat.

CONCLUSION: Our results indicated that sequencing of plasma free DNA can rapidly detect fetal chromosomal aneuploidies. The method is non-invasive, and the results are highly consistent with karyotype analysis in terms of accuracy and specificity. Non-invasive testing can be used as an effective adjunct to conventional prenatal diagnostic methods, which can greatly reduce unnecessary invasive prenatal diagnosis. However, the sensitivity and accuracy for aneuploidy detection other than chromosome 13/18/21 still need to be improved.

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