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SNP Array as a Tool for Prenatal Diagnosis of Congenital Heart Disease Screened by Echocardiography: Implications for Precision Assessment of Fetal Prognosis

Authors Huang H, Cai M, Wang Y, Liang B, Lin N, Xu L

Received 9 October 2020

Accepted for publication 30 December 2020

Published 27 January 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 345—355


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kent Rondeau

Hailong Huang,1,2,* Meiying Cai,1,2,* Yan Wang,1,2 Bin Liang,1,2 Na Lin,1,2 Liangpu Xu1,2

1Center for Prenatal Diagnosis, Fujian Maternity and Child Health Hospital, Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350001, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China; 2Fujian Key Laboratory for Prenatal Diagnosis and Birth Defects, Fuzhou 350001, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Na Lin; Liangpu Xu
Center for Prenatal Diagnosis, Fujian Maternity and Child Health Hospital, Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, No. 18 Daoshan Road, Gulou District, Fuzhou City, Fujian Province 350001, People’s Republic of China

Objective: This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of the SNP array for the prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease (CHD) screened by echocardiography.
Patients and Methods: A total of 356 pregnant women with fetal congenital heart malformations revealed by echocardiography at the Center for Prenatal Diagnosis of Fujian Maternal and Children Hospital during the period from November 2016 through July 2019 were recruited. The fetuses were assigned into three cohorts, including 142 with a single cardiac malformation, 106 with multiple cardiac malformations and 108 with cardiac and extracardiac malformations. All fetuses underwent chromosomal karyotyping and SNP array simultaneously, and the effectiveness of the SNP array for the prenatal diagnosis of CHD was evaluated.
Results: The overall prevalence of abnormal karyotypes was 9.3% among the 356 fetuses with CHD, and a higher proportion was found in fetuses with cardiac and extracardiac malformations (18.5%) than in those with single (5.6%) or multiple cardiac malformations (4.7%) (P< 0.05). Consistent with karyotype analysis, SNP array detected an additional 25 fetuses with pathogenic copy number variations (CNVs), seven with variant of unknown significance (VOUS) and seven with benign CNVs, and a lower proportion of abnormal CNV was found in fetuses with a single cardiac malformation (4.2%) than in those with multiple cardiac malformations (9.4%) or cardiac and extracardiac malformations (14.8%) (P< 0.05). Among the 33 fetuses with chromosomal abnormality, postnatal follow-up showed termination of pregnancy in 25 with pathogenic CNVs, one with VOUS, and six with normal karyotypes and SNP array findings but severe multiple malformations by ultrasonography.
Conclusion: SNP array increases the overall detection of abnormal CNVs by 9%, which improves the detection of CNVs associated with CHD. SNP array may serve as a tool for prenatal diagnosis of CHD that facilitates the discovery of pathogenic genes associated with CHD and provide valuable insights into the precision assessment of fetal prognosis during the prenatal counseling.

Keywords: congenital heart disease, SNP array, echocardiography, prenatal diagnosis

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