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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prenatal diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy by direct molecular analysis: efficacy and potential pitfalls.

The efficacy of direct prenatal diagnosis for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is demonstrated, and the potential pitfalls with this type of analysis are highlighted in the largest prospective single-center prenatal series in the United States. The presence or absence of exons 7 and 8 of the SMN gene was determined from 66 fetuses from 51 families. Direct and cultured chorionic villus samples (CVS) and amniocytes were analyzed. DNA analysis to exclude maternal cell contamination was performed on all CVS. Follow-up was obtained for 48 cases; 13 pregnancies continue. One child predicted to be affected with SMA remains asymptomatic at 13 months. Thirty-three cases were confirmed to be clinically unaffected in agreement with the prenatal molecular results. Three of 24 CVS had maternal cell contamination. In conclusion, direct molecular analysis of either CVS or amniocytes is highly accurate in the prenatal diagnosis of SMA. However, maternal cell contamination of CVS samples can confound these analyses, and the possibility of contamination must be excluded routinely.[1]


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