Objective: Quantitative fluorescence polymerase chain reaction (QF-PCR) is a rapid method for detection of chromosome copy number by amplification of repeat sequences at polymorphic loci. Our objective was to assess the performance of QF-PCR in detecting common aneuploidies in prenatal diagnosis. Study Design: The study group consisted of pregnant women referred for amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) due to increased risk of fetal aneuploidy. Samples were collected from known affected and normal pregnancies. These were blindly screened for trisomy of chromosomes 21, 18, 13, and sex chromosome abnormalities, using QF-PCR. DNA from uncultured amniocytes was directly extracted using a modified alkaline lysis method. DNA from CVS was extracted by the phenol-chloroform procedure. Ten short tandem repeat (STR) markers were used for detection of fetal aneuploidy and gender. The STRs were selected for high heterozygosity rates and efficiency of the PCR amplification. The forward primer of each pair was labeled with a unique fluorescent dye. Amplified products were detected by an ABI Prism® 310 Genetic Analyzer and results were analyzed using GeneScan® Analysis Software. Results: A total of 65 amniotic fluid and CVS samples were collected from affected and normal pregnancies. Two samples were contaminated with blood and were therefore excluded from the analysis. All 29 cases of aneuploidy were correctly diagnosed by QF-PCR, including 17 cases of trisomy 21, 7 cases of trisomy 18, and 5 cases with trisomy 13. The 34 normal samples were also correctly diagnosed as such. Thus, all results were in agreement with the standard cytogenetic results. There were no false-positive or false-negative results. Conclusion: We conclude that QF-PCR is a rapid, reliable, and reproducible method that may be used to provide rapid results in prenatal diagnosis of aneuploidy.

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