J Genet Med.  2010 Jun;7(1):59-66.

Validation of QF-PCR for Rapid Prenatal Diagnosis of Common Chromosomal Aneuploidies in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Division of Molecular Genetics and Cytogenetics, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul Medical Science Institute, Seoul Clinical Laboratories, Seoul, Korea. dkrlee@scllab.co.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
Quantitative fluorescent polymerase chain reaction (QF-PCR) allows for the rapid prenatal diagnosis of common aneuploidies. The main advantages of this assay are its low cost, speed, and automation, allowing for large-scale application. However, despite these advantages, it is not a routine method for prenatal aneuploidy screening in Korea. Our objective in the present study was to validate the performance of QF-PCR using short tandem repeat (STR) markers in a Korean population as a means for rapid prenatal diagnosis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A QF-PCR assay using an Elucigene kit (Gen-Probe, Abingdon, UK), containing 20 STR markers located on chromosomes 13, 18, 21, X and Y, was performed on 847 amniotic fluid (AF) samples for prenatal aneuploidy screening referred for prenatal aneuploidy screening from 2007 to 2009. The results were then compared to those obtained using conventional cytogenetic analysis. To evaluate the informativity of STR markers, the heterozygosity index of each marker was determined in all the samples.
RESULTS
Three autosomes (13, 18, and 21) and X and Y chromosome aneuploidies were detected in 19 cases (2.2%, 19/847) after QF-PCR analysis of the 847 AF samples. Their results are identical to those of conventional cytogenetic analysis, with 100% positive predictive value. However, after cytogenetic analysis, 7 cases (0.8%, 7/847) were found to have 5 balanced and 2 unbalanced chromosomal abnormalities that were not detected by QF-PCR. The STR markers had a slightly low heterozygosity index (average: 0.76) compared to those reported in Caucasians (average: 0.80). Submicroscopic duplication of D13S634 marker, which might be a unique finding in Koreans, was detected in 1.4% (12/847) of the samples in the present study.
CONCLUSION
A QF-PCR assay for prenatal aneuploidy screening was validated in our institution and proved to be efficient and reliable. However, we suggest that each laboratory must perform an independent validation test for each STR marker in order to develop interpretation guidelines of the results and must integrate QF-PCR into the routine cytogenetic laboratory workflow.

Keyword

Prenatal diagnosis; Quantitative fluorescent polymerase chain reaction (QF-PCR); Short tandem repeats (STR); Aneuploidy
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