On the road to replacing invasive testing with cell‐based NIPT: Five clinical cases with aneuploidies, microduplication, unbalanced structural rearrangement, or mosaicism

Prenatal Diagnosis. 2017 Nov;37(11):1120-1124

Vestergaard EM, Singh R, Schelde P, Hatt L, Ravn K, Christensen R, Lildballe DL, Petersen OB, Uldbjerg N, Vogel I


Trophoblastic fetal cells harvested from maternal blood have the capacity to be
used for copy number analyses in a cell‐based non‐invasive prenatal test (cbNIPT). Potentially, this
will result in increased resolution for detection of subchromosomal aberrations due to high quality
DNA not intermixed with maternal DNA. We present 5 selected clinical cases from first trimester
pregnancies where cbNIPT was used to demonstrate a wide range of clinically relevant aberrations.


Blood samples were collected from high risk pregnancies in gestational week 12 + 1
to 12 + 5. Fetal trophoblast cells were enriched and stained using fetal cell specific antibodies.
The enriched cell fraction was scanned, and fetal cells were picked using a capillary‐based cell
picking instrument. Subsequently, whole genome amplification (WGA) was performed on fetal
cells, and the DNA was analyzed blindly by array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH).


We present 5 cases where non‐invasive cell‐based prenatal test results are compared
with aCGH results on chorionic villus samples (CVS), demonstrating aneuploidies including mosaicism, unbalanced translocations, subchromosomal deletions, or duplications.


Aneuploidy and subchromosomal aberrations can be detected using fetal cells
harvested from maternal blood. The method has the future potential of being offered as a cell based NIPT with large high genomic resolution.