Does Maternal Body Mass Index Affect the Quantity of Circulating Fetal Cells Available to Use for Cell-Based Noninvasive Prenatal Test in High-Risk Pregnancies?

Kruckow S, Schelde P, Hatt L, Ravn K, Petersen OB, Uldbjerg N, Vogel I, Singh R.
We present the first study that investigates the effect of maternal body mass index (BMI) on the quantity of circulating fetal cells available to use in cell-based noninvasive prenatal test (cbNIPT). cbNIPT has been proposed as a superior alternative to noninvasive prenatal test from cell-free fetal DNA. Kølvraa et al. [Prenat Diagn. 2016 Dec; 36(12): 1127-34] established that cbNIPT can be performed on as few as one fetal cell, and Vestergaard et al. [Prenat Diagn. 2017 Nov; 37(11): 1120-4] demonstrated that these fetal trophoblast cells could be used successfully in cbNIPT to detect chromosomal and sub-chromosomal abnormalities. This study on 91 pregnant women with high-risk pregnancies suggests that cbNIPT should not be hampered by an increased BMI because every pregnancy, irrespective of the BMI, has rendered fetal cells for downstream genetic analysis. The mean number of fetal cells per sample was 12.6, with a range of 1-43 cells in one sample. ANOVA showed that increasing maternal BMI tends to decrease the number of fetal cells, but not significantly.
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