Author(s): Bono S, Biricik A, Spizzichino L, Nuccitelli A, Minasi MG
We aim to validate a semiconductor next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based method to detect unbalanced chromosome translocation in preimplantation embryos.
The study consisted of a blinded retrospective evaluation with NGS of 145 whole-genome amplification products obtained from biopsy of cleavage-stage embryos or blastocysts, derived from 33 couples carrying different balanced translocations. Consistency of NGS-based copy number assignments was evaluated and compared with the results obtained by array-comparative genomic hybridization.
Reliably identified with the NGS-based protocol were 162 segmental imbalances derived from 33 different chromosomal translocations, with the smallest detectable chromosomal segment being 5 Mb in size. Of the 145 embryos analysed, 20 (13.8%) were balanced, 43 (29.6%) were unbalanced, 53 (36.5%) were unbalanced and aneuploid, and 29 (20%) were balanced but aneuploid. NGS sensitivity for unbalanced/aneuploid chromosomal call (consistency of chromosome copy number assignment) was 99.75% (402/403), with a specificity of 100% (3077/3077). NGS specificity and sensitivity for unbalanced/aneuploid embryo call were 100%.
Next-generation sequencing can detect chromosome imbalances in embryos with the added benefit of simultaneous comprehensive aneuploidy screening. Given the high level of consistency with array-comparative genomic hybridization, NGS has been demonstrated to be a robust high-throughput technique ready for clinical application in preimplantation genetic diagnosis for chromosomal translocations, with potential advantages of automation, increased throughput and reduced cost.