Spontaneous Abortions Are Reduced After Preconception Diagnosis of Translocations
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Purpose: Preimplantation genetic diagnosis of translocations has seldom been attempted. Recently, a genetic test based on analyzing polar bodies at the methaphase stage, following fluorescent in situ hybridization with commercially available whole-chromosome painting DNA probes has been presented. Here we report the use of this method in seven couples in whom the female was a carrier of one of these balanced translocations: 45,XX,der (13q;14q)(q10;q10) (two cases), 46,XX,t(4;14)(p15.3;q24), 45,XX,der(14q;21q) (q10;q10), 46,XX,t(7;20)(q22;q11.2), 46,XX,t(9,11)(p24;q12), 46,XX,t(14;18)(q22;q11), and 46,XX,t(3;8)(q11;;q11).
Methods: The original method was improved in two ways. First, centromeric probes for one or both chromosomes involved in the translocation were added to avoid misdiagnosis caused by possible confusion of first polar body monovalent chromosomes (with two chromatids each) with single chromatids. Second, for cases with terminal translocations where commercially available probes do not cover telomere sequences, a telomere probe labeling the translocated fragment was added.
Results: A total of 26 abnormal, 18 balanced, and 22 normal eggs was detected. Nine normal and seven balanced embryos were transferred, resulting in eight (50%) implanting, of which one spontaneously aborted. To date, the remainder have produced karyotypically normal or balanced babies and ongoing pregnancies. The rate of spontaneous abortions after preimplantation genetic diagnosis (12.5%) was significantly reduced (P < 0.001) compared to natural cycles in the same patients (95%).
Conclusions: With the above improvements, the test can characterize any translocation of maternal origin and produce a high pregnancy rate and an apparently low frequency of spontaneous abortion.
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