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Congenital Ichthyosis: Current Approaches to Prenatal Diagnoses.

INTRODUCTION: Congenital ichthyosis represents a wide spectrum of diseases. This article reviews prenatal testing for ichthyosis.

METHODS: We used pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov to search for 38 types of congenital ichthyosis combined with 17 words related to prenatal testing.

RESULTS: Search resulted in 408 publications covering 13 types of ichthyoses and four types of tests.

DISCUSSION: Biochemical testing is diagnostic in trichothiodystrophy, but nonspecific in X-linked ichthyosis and Refsum syndrome. Except in X-linked ichthyosis, biochemical testing requires invasive procedures to obtain fetal skin biopsy, amniocytes, or chorionic villus samples. It is superior to histological and cytological examination of fetal skin biopsy or amniocytes because keratinization occurs later in pregnancy and microscopy cannot differentiate between ichthyosis types. Imaging is more acceptable due to noninvasiveness and routine use, although ultrasonography is operator-dependent, nonspecific, and captures abnormalities at late stage. Molecular tests are described in at-risk pregnancies but testing of free fetal DNA was not described.

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