Objectives: Prenatal diagnosis in families affected by X-linked recessive disorders should ideally be limited to the subjects at increased risk, i.e. male fetuses, in order to avoid the risk of fetal loss due to the invasive procedure in healthy female fetuses. The aim of the study was to assess the fetal sex within the first trimester of gestation by two non-invasive approaches, using ultrasonography and a molecular analysis of fetal DNA extracted from whole maternal blood with specific markers, in order to avoid invasive sampling in female fetuses. Methods: A total number of 18 fetuses at risk for an X-linked recessive disease were included in the present investigation. Maternal peripheral blood was analysed between 7 and 12 weeks of gestation by nested PCR for the detection of fetal DNA and the prediction of fetal gender. In addition, when the biparietal diameter (BPD) was between 21 and 23 mm, an ultrasonographic examination was carried out to assess the fetal gender. CVS was then performed in male fetuses only. Results: Fetal gender was correctly assigned by ultrasonography between 21 and 23 mm of BPD in all the cases studied, whereas DNA extracted from whole maternal blood accurately predicted the gender in all the female cases (10), but failed in 4 out of 8 male fetuses, erroneously assigned as females. Conclusion: The present study shows that sonography is able to accurately predict the fetal gender within the first trimester of pregnancy, whereas the molecular analysis of DNA extracted from whole maternal blood is biased by false-Y-negative results in 50% of the cases. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Non-invasive first trimester fetal gender assignment in pregnancies at risk for X-linked recessive diseases / Mazza, V.; Falcinelli, C.; Percesepe, A.; Paganelli, S.; Volpe, A.; FORABOSCO, Andrea. - In: PRENATAL DIAGNOSIS. - ISSN 0197-3851. - 22:10(2002), pp. 919-924. [10.1002/pd.434]
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