Background: The non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) is based on next generation sequencing (NGS) and is used for screening for fetal trisomy. However, it is time-consuming and technically difficult. Recently, peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probe-based real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was developed. This study aimed to examine the performance of the RT-PCR-based NIPT for screening of common fetal trisomies Methods: From stored maternal plasma, RT-PCR was performed using Patio™ NIPT Detection Kit. In melting curve analysis, the height of melting peaks of target chromosome and reference chromosome was calculated as a peak ratio. The adjusted peak ratio of 8 markers with correction factors in each target chromosome was summated and calculated to z-score. The cut-off value for each target chromosome was established for classification (low risk vs. high risk for trisomy) whose performance was obtained in the validation phase. Results: 330 plasma samples from pregnant women with normal fetus and 22 trisomy cell-line samples were used to establish the optimal cut-off values for z-score of each target chromosome. In the validation phase, 1023 samples from pregnant women including 22 cases with fetal trisomy and 1001 cases of normal control were used. The RT-PCR-based NIPT showed 95.45% sensitivity [95% confidence interval (CI) 77.16–99.88%], 98.60% specificity (95% CI 97.66–99.23%), and 98.53% accuracy (95% CI 97.59–99.18%) for the identification of trisomy 21, 18, or 13. Of 1023 samples, fifteen cases were mismatched for classification [one case as a false negative (false negative rate: 4.5%) and 14 cases as false positives (false positive rate: 1.4%)]. Conclusion: The RT-PCR-based NIPT showed high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of common fetal trisomies and it could be a feasible alternative to NGS-based NIPT.
- Fetal trisomy
- Non-invasive prenatal test
- Peptide nucleic acid
- Prenatal diagnosis
- Real-time polymerase chain reaction