Clinical evaluation of the IONA test: a non-invasive prenatal screening test for trisomies 21, 18 and 13

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To evaluate the clinical accuracy of the IONA® test for aneuploidy screening.


This was a multicenter blinded study in which plasma samples from pregnant women at increased risk of trisomy 21 underwent cell-free DNA analysis utilizing the IONA test. For each sample, the IONA software generated a likelihood ratio and a maternal age-adjusted probability risk score for trisomies 21, 18 and 13. All results from the IONA test were compared against accepted diagnostic karyotyping.


A total of 442 maternal samples were obtained, of which 437 had test results available for analysis and assessment of clinical accuracy. The IONA test had a detection rate of 100% for trisomies 21 (n = 43; 95% CI, 87.98–100%), 18 (n = 10; 95% CI, 58.72–100%) and 13 (n = 5; 95% CI, 35.88–100%) with cut-offs applied to likelihood ratio (cut-off > 1 considered high risk for trisomy) and probability risk score incorporating adjustment for maternal age (cut-off ≥ 1/150 considered high risk for trisomy). The false-positive rate (FPR) was 0% for trisomies 18 and 13 with both analysis outputs. For trisomy 21, a FPR of 0.3% was observed for the likelihood ratio, but became 0% with adjustment for maternal age.


This study indicates that the IONA test is suitable for trisomy screening in a high-risk screening population. The result-interpretation feature of the IONA software should facilitate wider implementation, particularly in local laboratories, and should be a useful addition to the current screening methods for trisomies 21, 18 and 13. Copyright © 2015 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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