During the past few years, rapid prenatal diagnosis of chromosome aneuploidies has been successfully achieved by quantitative fluorescent PCR (QF-PCR) amplification of chromosome-specific small tandem repeats (STR). This approach has proven to be very useful in clinical settings, since it allows the detection of major numerical disorders in a few hours after sampling. For the detection of Turner's syndrome (45,X), several highly polymorphic STR on the X chromosome are needed in order to reduce the likelihood that a normal female might be homozygous for all sequences and, consequently, that the test could fail to discriminate between samples retrieved from a Turner's and a normal female fetus. Here we report a new method for rapid and accurate detection of X chromosome copy number in prenatal samples that does not depend on STR heterozygosity. The test is based on QF-PCR amplification of the X-linked HPRT together with the autosomal D21S1411 used as internal control for quantification. In the course of this study, this assay allowed the prenatal diagnosis of a rare case of a normal female homozygous for four selected highly polymorphic X chromosome STR, as well as the assessment of the normal chromosome complement of a fetus homozygous for five chromosome 21 markers.
- Prenatal diagnosis
- Turner's syndrome