Prenatal chromosomal microarray analysis in fetuses with congenital heart disease: a prospective cohort study

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Abstract

Background

Currently, chromosomal microarray analysis is considered the first-tier test in pediatric care and prenatal diagnosis. However, the diagnostic yield of chromosomal microarray analysis for prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease has not been evaluated based on a large cohort.

Objective

Our aim was to evaluate the clinical utility of chromosomal microarray as the first-tier test for chromosomal abnormalities in fetuses with congenital heart disease.

Study Design

In this prospective study, 602 prenatal cases of congenital heart disease were investigated using single nucleotide polymorphism array over a 5-year period.

Results

Overall, pathogenic chromosomal abnormalities were identified in 125 (20.8%) of 602 prenatal cases of congenital heart disease, with 52.0% of them being numerical chromosomal abnormalities. The detection rates of likely pathogenic copy number variations and variants of uncertain significance were 1.3% and 6.0%, respectively. The detection rate of pathogenic chromosomal abnormalities in congenital heart disease plus additional structural anomalies (48.9% vs 14.3%, P < .0001) or intrauterine growth retardation group (50.0% vs 14.3%, P = .044) was significantly higher than that in isolated congenital heart disease group. Additionally, the detection rate in congenital heart disease with additional structural anomalies group was significantly higher than that in congenital heart disease with soft markers group (48.9% vs 19.8%, P < .0001). No significant difference was observed in the detection rates between congenital heart disease with additional structural anomalies and congenital heart disease with intrauterine growth retardation groups (48.9% vs 50.0%), congenital heart disease with soft markers and congenital heart disease with intrauterine growth retardation groups (19.8% vs 50.0%), or congenital heart disease with soft markers and isolated congenital heart disease groups (19.8% vs 14.3%). The detection rate in fetuses with congenital heart disease plus mild ventriculomegaly was significantly higher than in those with other types of soft markers (50.0% vs 15.6%, P < .05).

Conclusion

Our study suggests chromosomal microarray analysis is a reliable and high-resolution technology and should be used as the first-tier test for prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease in clinical practice.

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