Objective: The objective of the study was to perform first-trimester maternal serum metabolomic analysis and compare the results in aneuploid vs Down syndrome (DS) pregnancies.
Study design: This was a case-control study of pregnancies between 11+0 and 13+6 weeks. There were 30 DS cases and 60 controls in which first-trimester maternal serum was analyzed. Nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolomic analysis was performed for DS prediction.
Results: Concentrations of 11 metabolites were significantly different in the serum of DS pregnancies. The combination of 3-hydroxyisovalerate, 3-hydroxybuterate, and maternal age had a 51.9% sensitivity at 1.9% false-positive rate for DS detection. One multimarker algorithm had 70% sensitivity at 1.7% false-positive rate. Novel markers such as 3-hydroxybutyrate, involved in brain growth and myelination, and 2-hydroxybutyrate, involved in the defense against oxidative stress, were found to be abnormal.
Conclusion: The study reports novel metabolomic markers for the first-trimester prediction of fetal DS. Metabolomics provided insights into the cellular dysfunction in DS.
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