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

First-trimester maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein as a marker for fetal chromosomal disorders. Dutch Working Party on Prenatal Diagnosis.

We evaluated first-trimester maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MS- AFP) as a marker for fetal chromosomal disorders. The multicentre study was performed under the auspices of the Dutch Working Party on Prenatal Diagnosis. MS- AFP was measured in 2404 normal pregnancies and 72 chromosomally abnormal pregnancies. The median multiple of the normal median (MOM) in 32 Down's syndrome pregnancies was 0.83 with a 95 per cent confidence interval ranging from 0.60 to 1.04. The difference between the distributions of first-trimester MS- AFP in normal and Down's syndrome pregnancies was statistically significant (t-test: t = 2.34, P < 0.05). Thirty-one per cent of the Down's syndrome pregnancies were found below the tenth percentile. We found no difference between normal pregnancies and pregnancies with other chromosomal disorders (eight cases with trisomy 18, MOM = 1.26; seven cases with sex chromosome abnormalities, MOM = 1.07; 22 cases with a chromosomal mosaic pattern in chorionic villi, MOM = 1.08). We conclude that first-trimester MS- AFP can discriminate between normal and Down's syndrome pregnancies, but is not an effective marker. First-trimester MS- AFP has no value as a marker for other fetal chromosomal disorders.[1]


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