Objective: To develop a new bioinformatic method in the noninvasive prenatal identification of common fetal aneuploidies using massively parallel sequencing on maternal plasma.
Methods: Massively parallel sequencing was performed on plasma DNA samples from 108 pregnant women (median gestation: 12(+5) week) immediately before chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis. Data were analysed using a novel z-score method with internal reference chromosome. The diagnostic accuracies of the fetal karyotyping status were compared against two previously reported z-score methods--one without adjustment and the other with GC correction.
Results: A total of 32 cases with fetal aneuploidy were confirmed by conventional karyotyping, including 11 cases of Trisomy 21, 10 cases of Trisomy 18, 2 cases of Trisomy 13, 8 cases of Turner syndrome (45, XO) and one case of Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY). Using the z-score method without reference adjustment, the detection rate for Trisomy 21, Trisomy 18, Trisomy 13, Turner syndrome, and Klinefelter's syndrome is 100%, 40%, 0%, 88% and 0% respectively. Using the z-score method with GC correction, the detection rate increased to 100% for Trisomy 21, 90% for Trisomy 18, 100% for Trisomy 13. By using the z-score method with internal reference, the detection rate increased to 100% for all aneuploidies. The false positive rate was 0% for all three methods.
Conclusion: This massively parallel sequencing-based approach, combined with the improved z-score test methodology, enables the prenatal diagnosis of most common aneuploidies with a high degree of accuracy, even in the first trimester of pregnancy.