Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine
Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine

Progressive trends in prenatal genetic screening

Tendencias progresivas en el cribado genético prenatal

Kirolos Eskandar

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According to the global report on birth defects in 2021, it is estimated that 8 million children are born with birth defects of genetic origin annually. These birth defects vary in their degree of severity; where some types are mild and do not require treatment but others may necessitate lifelong medications or even cause instant death just after birth. That is why prenatal screening is doubtless necessary to detect such genetic defects before birth aiming to drop the tragedy of these children off.
Recently, this approach has been developing towards non-invasive techniques that reduce the risk of miscarriage, which was common in the old-fashioned invasive ones. Non-invasive Prenatal Tests (NIPTs) like Chromosomal Microarray Analysis (CMA) and cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) caused a breakthrough in the screening methods of chromosomal aneuploidies. Thanks to their benefits, NIPTs are considered a fundamental clinical approach for pregnant women’ screening in multiple countries.
Thence, this paper gives prominence to the recentness of NIPTs along with each’s assets, liabilities, and prospective recommendations. In addition, it would demonstrate the importance of modern molecular technologies like next-generation sequencing (NGS) which are enforced for the appliance of NIPTs.


Non-invasive prenatal tests; Cell free fetal DNA; Chromosomal microarray; Chorionic villus sampling; Maternal plasma; Fetal nucleated red blood cells; Next generation sequencing


Según el informe mundial sobre anomalías congénitas de 2021, se estima que anualmente nacen 8 millones de niños con anomalías congénitas de origen genético. Estos defectos de nacimiento varían en su grado de severidad; donde algunos tipos son leves y no requieren tratamiento, pero otros pueden necesitar medicamentos de por vida o incluso causar la muerte instantánea justo después del nacimiento. Por eso es sin duda necesario el cribado prenatal para detectar tales defectos genéticos antes del nacimiento con el fin de acabar con la tragedia de estos niños.
Recientemente, este enfoque se ha ido desarrollando hacia técnicas no invasivas que reducen el riesgo de aborto espontáneo, que era común en las antiguas invasivas. Las pruebas prenatales no invasivas (NIPT) como el análisis de micromatrices cromosómicas (CMA) y el ADN fetal libre de células (cffDNA) provocaron un gran avance en los métodos de detección de aneuploidías cromosómicas. Gracias a sus beneficios, las NIPT se consideran un enfoque clínico fundamental para la detección de mujeres embarazadas en múltiples países.
Por lo tanto, este documento destaca la actualidad de los NIPT junto con los activos, pasivos y recomendaciones prospectivas de cada uno. Además, demostraría la importancia de las tecnologías moleculares modernas, como la secuenciación de próxima generación (NGS), que se aplican para la aplicación de NIPT.

Palabras clave

Pruebas prenatales no invasivas; AND fetal libre de células; Micromatrices cromosómicas; Muestreo de vellosidades coriónicas; Plasma materno; Glóbulos rojos fetales nucleados; Secuenciación de última generación


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