Author(s): Pan PD, Peter I, LambertMesserlian GM, Canick JA, Bianchi DW,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Increased second-trimester levels of maternal serum HCG in IVF conceptions lead to an increased false-positive rate in Down syndrome screening. Increased levels of cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) in maternal plasma have been correlated with increased HCG levels. Our aim was to determine whether cffDNA levels are elevated in IVF pregnancies compared with natural pregnancies. METHODS: Sixteen archived second-trimester serum samples from IVF pregnancies were matched with five control samples from naturally conceived pregnancies per case, all carrying a singleton male fetus. cffDNA concentrations were measured by real-time PCR amplification of a Y chromosome sequence and compared with four standard second trimester serum screening markers (alpha-fetoprotein, estriol, HCG and inhibin A). RESULTS: Mean cffDNA levels for cases and controls were 57.9 and 57.1 genome equivalents/ml, respectively (P = 0.95). Mean observed rank (from 1 to 6) of cffDNA was 3.625 in the IVF conceived group, compared with an expected value of 3.5 (P = 0.53). No significant correlations were observed between cffDNA and serum markers. CONCLUSIONS: IVF does not affect levels of cffDNA, which appears to be independent of traditional screening markers (e.g. HCG). Therefore, cffDNA can be used as an additional serum marker (e.g. Down syndrome screening) without adjustment for IVF pregnancies.
This article was published in Hum Reprod
and referenced in Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research