Feasibility in Canada for a non-invasive prenatal testing using single-exon fetal RHD determination

The discovery of cell free fetal DNA in maternal plasma opened new possibilities for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. Most women who are D negative do not have copies of the RHD gene; therefore, the presence of the RHD gene in a D-negative pregnant woman suggests a D-positive fetus. Current Canadian guidelines recommend an antepartum dose of Rh immunoglobulin be given at 28 weeks’ gestation along with a postpartum dose to those women who have a D-positive infant. However, up to 40% of the antepartum injections are unnecessary because the fetus is also D-negative and incapable of causing RhD sensitization. The objective of this study is to conduct a technical feasibility assessment of the use of a single exon, real time PCR technology in Canada for testing fetal RHD from the plasma of RhD-negative pregnant women. Results of the feasibility study will inform decisions around the development of a national program for non-invasive prenatal testing. We will examine the technical, operational, financial and political barriers to a change in routine testing of all RhD-negative pregnant women which will be used to inform Canadian Blood Services and their key stakeholders. This work will contribute to ongoing discussions around the need and feasibility of a national non-invasive prenatal testing program.
Principal Investigator / Supervisor
ACKER, Jason
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee
Canadian Blood Services
Blood Efficiency Accelerator Program
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