Objective: To determine if the risk for fetal trisomies during the first trimester of pregnancy can be derived by combining data from maternal serum pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) and fetal nuchal translucency thickness.
Methods: Pregnancy-associated plasma protein A was measured in samples from 87 singleton pregnancies with fetal chromosomal abnormalities (45 trisomy 21, 19 trisomy 18, eight trisomy 13, 11 sex chromosome aneuploidies, four triploidies) and 348 chromosomally normal controls at 10-13 weeks' gestation. Likelihood ratios for trisomies 21, 18, and 13 in relation to PAPP-A, in multiples of the normal median (MoM) for crown-rump length, were derived from the overlapping gaussian frequency distribution curves for normal and abnormal pregnancies.
Results: In the chromosomally normal group, maternal serum PAPP-A correlated significantly with fetal crown-rump length (r = 0.421, P < .0001). In the chromosomally abnormal group, the median PAPP-A was significantly lower than in the normal controls. The respective median values expressed in MoM for trisomies 21, 18, and 13 and other aneuploidies were 0.5 MoM (90% confidence interval [CI] 0.09-1.67, z = 6.0, P < .001), 0.17 MoM (90% CI 0.06-1.45, z = 6.6, P < .001), 0.25 MoM (90% CI 0.10-0.62, z = 4.5, P < .001), and 0.72 MoM (90% CI 0.09-2.48, z = 2.2, P < .05), respectively. There was no significant linear association between PAPP-A and fetal nuchal translucency thickness in either the chromosomally normal (r = -0.01, P = .89) or abnormal groups (r = -0.19, P = .08).
Conclusion: The risks for fetal trisomies at 10-13 weeks' gestation can be derived by combining data on maternal age, maternal serum PAPP-A, and fetal nuchal translucency thickness.