Medicina (Buenos Aires)
versión impresa ISSN 0025-7680
SESARINI, Carla; ARGIBAY, Pablo y OTANO, Lucas. Non invasive prenatal diagnosis: Fetal nucleic acid analysis in maternal blood. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2010, vol.70, n.6, pp. 537-542. ISSN 0025-7680.
Current prenatal diagnosis of monogeneic and chromosomal diseases, includes invasive procedures which carry a small but significant risk. For many years, analysis of fetal cells in maternal circulation has been studied, however it has failed its clinical use due to the scarcity of these cells and their persistance after delivery. For more than a decade, the presence of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal blood has been identified. These fetal DNA fragments would derive from the placenta and are not detected after delivery, making them a source of fetal material for carrying out diagnosis techniques using maternal blood. However, the vast majority of cell free DNA in maternal circulation is of maternal origin, with the fetal component contributing from 3% to 6% and rising towards term. Available methodologies do not allow separation of fetal from maternal cell free DNA, so current applications have been focused on the analysis of genes not present in the mother, such as Y chromosome sequences, or RHD gene in RhD-negative women, or paternal or de novo mutations. Also, the detection of cell-free fetal RNA in maternal blood offers the possibility of obtaining information regarding genetic expression profiles of embrionic tissues, and using genes expressed only at the feto-placental unit, controls for the presence of fetal material could be established, regardless of maternal genetic tissue. The present article describes the evidences regarding the passage of fetal nucleic acids to maternal circulation, its current prenatal diagnosis application and possible future perspectives.
Palabras clave : Cell-free fetal DNA; Cell-free fetal RNA; Prenatal diagnosis.