J Genet Med.  2020 Jun;17(1):27-33. 10.5734/JGM.2020.17.1.27.

Prenatal molecular diagnosis and carrier detection of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in Korea

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gimcheon Jeil Hospital, Gimcheon, Korea
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Population, Medical Research Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common lethal muscular dystrophy and is caused by the genetic variants of DMD gene. Because DMD is X-linked recessive and shows familial aggregates, prenatal diagnosis is an important role in the management of DMD family. We present our experience of prenatal molecular diagnosis and carrier detection based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), and linkage analysis.
Materials and Methods
During study period, 34 cases of prenatal diagnosis and 21 cases of carrier detection were performed at the Seoul National University Hospital. Multiplex PCR and MLPA was used to detect the exon deletions or duplications. When the DMD pathogenic variant in the affected males is unknown and no DMD pathogenic variant is detected in atrisk females, linkage analysis was used.
The prenatal molecular diagnosis was offered to 34 fetuses. Twenty-five fetuses were male and 6 fetuses (24.0%) were affected. Remaining cases had no pathogenic mutation. We had 24 (80.0%) cases of known proband results; exon deletion mutation in 19 (79.2%) cases and duplication in 5 (20.8%) cases. Linkage analysis was performed in 4 cases in which 2 cases (50.0%) were found to be affected. In the carrier testing, among 21 cases including 15 cases of mother and 6 cases of female relative, 9 (42.9%) cases showed positive results and 12 (57.1%) cases showed negative results.
Prenatal molecular diagnosis and carrier detection of DMD are effective and feasible. They are useful in genetic counseling for DMD families.


Prenatal diagnosis; Muscular dystrophy; Duchenne; Multiplex polymerase chain reaction; Multiplex ligationdependent probe amplification; Linkage analysis
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