Quantitative analysis of fetal DNA in maternal plasma in pathological conditions associated with placental abnormalities

Maddalena Smid, Antonia Vassallo, Fiorenza Lagona, Luca Valsecchi, Lucia Maniscalco, Luana Danti, Andrea Lojacono, Augusto Ferrari, Maurizio Ferrari, Laura Cremonesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An increased fetal DNA concentration in maternal plasma has been observed in placental pathological conditions associated with hypertension and preeclampsia. To confirm these data, we performed real-time quantitative PCR on the SRY gene in a group of physiological and pathological male-bearing pregnancies. In 78 physiological pregnancies, fetal DNA concentration in maternal plasma was 20.7, 13.4, 23.6, and 74.8 genome-equivalents (g.e.)/mL during the first, second, and third trimesters and at term, respectively. In 10 preeclamptic women, fetal DNA concentration ranged from 59.3 to 615.2 g.e./mL (median: 332.9). In 7 women with preeclampsia and IUGR (intrauterine growth retardation), fetal DNA ranged from 96.5 to 859 g.e./mL (median: 146.8). In 4 women with IUGR and hypertension, fetal DNA ranged from 34 to 473.5 g.e./mL (median: 142.4). In 3 patients with IUGR, fetal DNA ranged from 168.6 to 519.7 g.e./mL (median: 308.1). In 2 patients with IUGR and HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count) syndrome, fetal DNA concentration ranged from 105 to 394.1 g.e./mL (median: 249.7). Four women who developed preeclampsia some weeks later showed fetal DNA levels within the physiological range. These data suggest that increased fetal DNA concentrations might represent a valuable marker of placental abnormalities and suggest that this rise may precede clinical manifestation of preeclampsia by only a few weeks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume945
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Fetal DNA
  • Gestational pathologies
  • HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count) syndrome
  • Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR)
  • Maternal plasma
  • Placental pathologies
  • Preeclampsia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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