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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


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Is Noninvasive Prenatal Screening Appropriate for Pregnant Women Age 35 or Older In Cases if Isolated Fetal Nasal Bone Abnormalities in The Chinese Han Population?

Yuan Chen, Min Lv, Tian Dong, Qinqing Chen, Yeqing Qian, Baihui Zhao, Qiong Luo

(Department of Obstetrics, Women’s Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e924387

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.924387

BACKGROUND: Ethnic background may affect the prevalence of nasal bone absence and the length of the nasal bone. This study aimed to elucidate the significance of absent or hypoplastic fetal nasal bone in the Chinese Han population and to formulate an optimal management plan for patients age 35 or older in cases of isolated abnormal fetal nasal bone.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We prospectively assigned pregnant women whose fetuses had nasal bone absence or hypoplasia to separate groups according to their choice for noninvasive prenatal screening (NIPS) between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2018. Demographic data, ultrasound findings, results of conventional maternal serum screening and NIPS, fetal karyotype, pregnancy outcomes, and expenses associated with prenatal testing were recorded. The incidence and odds ratio of nasal bone abnormality and the sensitivity and specificity of different prenatal genetic screening tests were calculated.
RESULTS: A total of 1946 cases with fetal nasal bone absence or hypoplasia were included. Cases of isolated nasal bone abnormality (1736 cases) were divided into the NIPS group (Gr 1, n=429) and the non-NIPS group (Gr 2, n=1307). Sixty-four cases involved chromosomal abnormality. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of NIPS in Gr 1 were 100%, 100%, 100%, and 100%, respectively. The odds ratio of fetal chromosomal abnormalities for isolated fetal nasal bone abnormalities when maternal age was ≥35 was 4.615 (95% CI: 1.592-13.381). The cost-effectiveness ratio of contingent screening (NIPS first) was significantly lower than amniocentesis directly.
CONCLUSIONS: The nasal bone provides an important marker for chromosome abnormalities in some populations, but to a lesser extent in the Chinese Han population. NIPS is an excellent first option for follow-up among pregnant women age ≥35 in cases of absent or hypoplastic fetal nasal bone in the first trimester ultrasound scan.

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