Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prenatal tests more informative using microarray technology than microscope analysis

Date:
December 6, 2012
Source:
George Washington University
Summary:
A new method for detecting abnormalities in unborn children is providing physicians with more information to analyze the results than conventional, microscopic testing.

A new method for detecting abnormalities in unborn children is providing physicians with more information to analyze the results than conventional, microscopic testing, according to two George Washington University researchers.

Elizabeth Thom, research professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, and Julia Zachary, senior research scientist, are co-authors of the lead article appearing in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine showing that microarray technology provides a more comprehensive result from genetic testing during prenatal care of women than the current method of testing, called karyotyping, which relies on visual analysis of the fetal chromosomes.

"Microarray analysis of blood is now standard of care when children or adults present with undiagnosed neurodevelopmental problems since there are a number of serious syndromes that involve small changes on chromosomes which are not seen through a microscope," explained Dr. Thom. "It is a natural extension to want to identify these syndromes prenatally, but research into how to interpret the data is essential."

The GW Biostatistics Center in Rockville, Md. where Dr. Thom and Ms. Zachary are both based was the coordinating center for the multi-site trial. The research was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and led by Columbia University Medical Center.

The trial involved 4,400 patients at 29 centers nationwide and the data took more than four years to compile. The trial's cohort consisted of women over the age of 18 but predominantly over 30, whose fetuses were shown in early screenings to be at a heightened risk for Down syndrome or to have structural abnormalities found through an ultrasound.

The trial found that microarray analysis performed as well as karyotyping in identifying common outcomes involving an abnormal number of chromosomes, which can cause genetic or developmental disorders. It also identified additional abnormalities that were completely undetected by karyotyping.

"Particularly when a prenatal ultrasound has shown anomalies it becomes very important for parents to have an explanation. When the karyotype is normal, microarray analysis will provide additional information in 6 percent of cases. This diagnosis allows parents to plan for early intervention, especially in the case of autism spectrum and other neurodevelopmental disorders," said Ms. Zachary.

Use of microarray for analysis of prenatal samples has only been done in a few laboratories in the U.S. until recently, primarily because of high cost, the difficulty in developing protocols which achieve reliable success rates in DNA extraction from uncultured prenatal samples and the limited experience by genetic counselors and physicians in interpreting the results.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by George Washington University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ronald J. Wapner, Christa Lese Martin, Brynn Levy, Blake C. Ballif, Christine M. Eng, Julia M. Zachary, Melissa Savage, Lawrence D. Platt, Daniel Saltzman, William A. Grobman, Susan Klugman, Thomas Scholl, Joe Leigh Simpson, Kimberly McCall, Vimla S. Aggarwal, Brian Bunke, Odelia Nahum, Ankita Patel, Allen N. Lamb, Elizabeth A. Thom, Arthur L. Beaudet, David H. Ledbetter, Lisa G. Shaffer, Laird Jackson. Chromosomal Microarray versus Karyotyping for Prenatal Diagnosis. New England Journal of Medicine, 2012; 367 (23): 2175 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1203382

Cite This Page:

George Washington University. "Prenatal tests more informative using microarray technology than microscope analysis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206131604.htm>.
George Washington University. (2012, December 6). Prenatal tests more informative using microarray technology than microscope analysis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206131604.htm
George Washington University. "Prenatal tests more informative using microarray technology than microscope analysis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206131604.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins