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Clinical value of screening prenatal ultrasound combined with chromosomal microarrays in prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical value of ultrasound findings in the screening of fetal chromosomal abnormalities and the analysis of risk factors for chromosome microarray analysis (CMA) abnormalities.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the datasets of 15,899 pregnant women who underwent prenatal evaluations at Affiliated Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital of Nantong University between August 2018 and December 2022. Everyone underwent ultrasound screening, and those with abnormal findings underwent CMA to identify chromosomal abnormalities.

RESULTS: The detection rates for isolated ultrasound anomalies and combined ultrasound and CMA anomalies were 11.81% (1877/15,899) and 2.40% (381/15,899), respectively. Among all ultrasound abnormalities, detection rates for isolated ultrasound soft marker anomalies, isolated structural abnormalities, and both ultrasound soft marker anomalies with structural abnormalities were 82.91% (1872/2258), 15.99% (361/2258), and 1.11% (25/2258), respectively. The detection rate of abnormal chromosomes in pregnant women with abnormal ultrasound results was 16.87% (381/2258). The detection rates were 13.33% in cases with two or more ultrasound soft markers anomalies, 47.37% for two or more structural anomalies, and 48.00% for concomitant ultrasound soft marker and structural anomalies.

CONCLUSIONS: Enhanced detection rates of chromosomal anomalies in fetal malformations are achieved with specific ultrasound findings (NT thickening, cardiovascular abnormalities, and multiple soft markers) or when combined with high-risk factors (advanced maternal age, familial history, parental chromosomal anomalies, etc.). When the maternal age is over 35 and with ≥2 ultrasound soft marker anomalies accompanied with any high-risk factors, CMA testing can aid in the diagnosis of prenatal chromosomal abnormalities.

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