Nevin Manimala Statistics

A fetal fraction enrichment method reduces false negatives and increases test success rate of fetal chromosome aneuploidy detection in early pregnancy loss

J Transl Med. 2022 Aug 2;20(1):345. doi: 10.1186/s12967-022-03555-9.


OBJECTIVE: We and others have previously demonstrated that the size-selection enrichment method could remarkably improve fetal fraction (FF) in the early gestational age (GA, 12-13 weeks), suggesting that 9 or 10 weeks should not be used as a threshold for GA in size-selection noninvasive prenatal screening (NIPS). Here, we assessed whether this method was reliable for detecting fetal chromosomal aneuploidy at the earliest GA (6-8 weeks).

METHODS: Size-selection NIPS for fetal chromosomal aneuploidy was applied to 208 pregnancy plasma samples (102 male and 106 female fetuses), while the 169 pregnancy samples with male fetuses also underwent standard NIPS. Multivariable linear regression models were used to evaluate the association between fold-change of FF and experimental factors.

RESULTS: The sensitivity of the cell-free DNA (cfDNA) test in detecting aneuploidy was 100% when screened with FF enrichment, whereas the sensitivity of the same patients was only 62.5% (5/8) without FF enrichment. In the 102 pregnancy samples with male fetuses, FF increased from 6.1% to 15.7%, and the median increase in FF was 2.8-fold with enrichment. Moreover, there was a trend toward an increasing success rate of the cfDNA test from 6 to 13 weeks of gestation, especially when the test success rate reached 100% after 7 weeks with FF enrichment. Multivariate linear regression analysis demonstrated that a lower initial FF, shorter cfDNA size, increased body mass index (BMI), and later GA were all independent predictors of a higher fold-change of FF. Compared with ≤ 120 bp cfDNA fragments, the mean fold-change of FF differences was 0.820 for 121-125 bp, 0.229 for 126-130 bp, – 0.154 for 131-135 bp, – 0.525 for 136-140 bp and – 0.934 for > 140 bp (Ptrend < 0.0001), suggesting that fold-change of FF significantly decreased with cfDNA fragments > 125 bp. These results were statistically significant after adjusting for confounding factors in the models for fold-change of FF.

CONCLUSIONS: The FF enrichment method is a reasonable strategy to detect fetal chromosomal aneuploidy in early pregnancy loss with reduced false negatives and increased test success rate after 7 weeks of GA and should be recommended for patients with early pregnancy loss.

PMID:35918754 | DOI:10.1186/s12967-022-03555-9

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