Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

James L. Zehnder, M.D.

Publication Details

  • Testing for maternal cell contamination in prenatal samples - A comprehensive survey of current diagnostic practices in 35 molecular diagnostic laboratories JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS Schrijver, I., Cherny, S. C., Zehnder, J. L. 2007; 9 (3): 394-400


    The potential presence of maternal cell contamination (MCC) in chorionic villus or amniotic fluid samples poses a serious preanalytical risk for prenatal misdiagnosis. The aim of this study was to identify current diagnostic practices in the absence of comprehensive practice guidelines. Thirty-five clinical molecular laboratories that conduct prenatal testing agreed to participate in a clinical practice survey. The survey included questions about sample requirements, test indications, assay type, test performance and limitations, criteria and management of uninformative test results, reporting, and billing. Sixty percent of participating laboratories performed testing on direct and cultured amniotic fluid, whereas forty percent tested cultured cells only. Most also accepted chorionic villus samples. Although MCC testing of fetal samples is recommended in guidelines by the American College of Medical Genetics, only 60% of surveyed laboratories performed it without exception. Commercially available assays were used by 75% of participating laboratories, and at least five identity markers were evaluated at 87% of the laboratories. The reported lower limit of MCC detection ranged from 1 to 20% but was not determined in all laboratories. MCC testing was performed in the majority of molecular diagnostic laboratories, but guidelines for standardization are needed to ensure optimal and accurate prenatal patient care.

    View details for DOI 10.2353/jmoldx.2007.070017

    View details for Web of Science ID 000247691200015

    View details for PubMedID 17591939

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