Real-Time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction Measurement of Male Fetal DNA in Maternal Plasma

  • Bernhard Zimmermann
  • Xiao Yan Zhong
  • Wolfgang Holzgreve
  • Sinuhe Hahn
Part of the Methods in Molecular Medicine™ book series (MIMM, volume 132)


Cell-free fetal DNA can be detected in the blood plasma of pregnant women as early as 5 wk into pregnancy. At present noninvasive prenatal diagnosis has already begun to impact clinical practice. The established applications are for the determination of fetal sex and rhesus D blood group when the mother is rhesus D negative. Both methods are currently evaluated and standardized by a large laboratory network (the Special Non-Invasive Advances in Fetal and Neonatal Evaluation Network, or SAFE) that aims to implement widespread noninvasive prenatal diagnosis throughout the European Union. This chapter presents the basic methodology used in this noninvasive analysis.

Key Words

Real-time quantitative PCR absolute quantification noninvasive prenatal diagnosis circulatory free fetal DNA DNA analysis 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Zimmermann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiao Yan Zhong
  • Wolfgang Holzgreve
    • 3
  • Sinuhe Hahn
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ResearchUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.University Women’s HospitalSwitzerland
  3. 3.Laboratory for Prenatal MedicineUniversity Women’s Hospital/Department of ResearchBaselSwitzerland

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