Isolated Increased Nuchal Translucency in First Trimester Ultrasound Scan: Diagnostic Yield of Prenatal Microarray and Outcome of Pregnancy

Kyra E. Stuurman*, Marjolein H. van der Mespel-Brouwer, Melanie A.J. Engels, Mariet W. Elting, Shama L. Bhola, Hanne Meijers-Heijboer

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Increased nuchal translucency (NT) is associated with aneuploidy. When the karyotype is normal, fetuses are still at risk for structural anomalies and genetic syndromes. Our study researched the diagnostic yield of prenatal microarray in a cohort of fetuses with isolated increased NT (defined as NT ≥ 3.5 mm) and questioned whether prenatal microarray is a useful tool in determining the adverse outcomes of the pregnancy. Materials and Methods: A prospective study was performed, in which 166 women, pregnant with a fetus with isolated increased NT (ranging from 3.5 to 14.3 mm with a mean of 5.4 mm) were offered karyotyping and subsequent prenatal microarray when karyotype was normal. Additionally, all ongoing pregnancies of fetuses with normal karyotype were followed up with regard to postnatal outcome. The follow-up time after birth was maximally 4 years. Results: Totally, 149 of 166 women opted for prenatal testing. Seventy-seven fetuses showed normal karyotype (52%). Totally, 73 of 77 fetuses with normal karyotype did not show additional anomalies on an early first trimester ultrasound. Totally, 40 of 73 fetuses received prenatal microarray of whom 3 fetuses had an abnormal microarray result: two pathogenic findings (2/40) and one incidental carrier finding. In 73 fetuses with an isolated increased NT, 21 pregnancies showed abnormal postnatal outcome (21/73, 28.8%), 29 had a normal outcome (29/73, 40%), and 23 were lost to follow-up (23/73, 31.5%). Seven out of 73 live-born children showed an adverse outcome (9.6%). Conclusions: Prenatal microarray in fetuses with isolated increased NT had a 5% (2/40) increased diagnostic yield compared to conventional karyotyping. Even with a normal microarray, fetuses with an isolated increased NT had a 28.8% risk of either pregnancy loss or an affected child.

Original languageEnglish
Article number737936
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2021

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© Copyright © 2021 Stuurman, van der Mespel-Brouwer, Engels, Elting, Bhola and Meijers-Heijboer.


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