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The accuracy of prenatal cell-free DNA screening for sex chromosome abnormalities: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Published:December 23, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajogmf.2022.100844

      OBJECTIVE

      Although cell-free DNA screening for sex chromosome abnormalities is increasingly used in clinical practice, its diagnostic accuracy and clinical utility remain unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine the performance of cell-free DNA in the detection of sex chromosome abnormalities.

      DATA SOURCES

      Medline and PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science were searched from inception to January 2022 for articles relating to cell-free DNA screening for sex chromosome abnormalities.

      STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

      Original articles, randomized control trials, conference abstracts, cohort and case-control studies, and case series with more than 10 cases with diagnostic confirmation were considered for inclusion.

      METHODS

      Quality assessment of each included publication was performed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 tool. The positive predictive value was calculated as the proportion of true positive cases among those who tested positive and underwent diagnostic testing. Sensitivity and specificity were pooled, and a summary receiver operating characteristic curve was produced using bivariate models that included studies that had diagnostic confirmation for high- and low-risk women.

      RESULTS

      The search identified 7553 results. Of these, 380 proceeded to the full-text screening, of which 94 articles were included in the meta-analysis with a total of 1,531,240 women tested. All studies reported a confirmatory genetic test. The pooled positive predictive value was 49.4% (95% confidence interval, 45.8–53.1). The pooled positive predictive value was 32.0% (95% confidence interval, 27.0%–37.3%) for monosomy X, 67.6% (95% confidence interval, 62.5%–72.5%) for XXY, 57.5% (95% confidence interval, 51.7%–63.1%) for XXX, and 70.9% (95% confidence interval, 63.9%–77.1%) for XYY. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of cell-free DNA for sex chromosome abnormalities were 94.1% (95% confidence interval, 90.8%–96.3%) and 99.5% (95% confidence interval, 99.0%–99.7%), respectively, with an area under the summary receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.934 (95% confidence interval, 0.907–0.989).

      CONCLUSION

      Although the sensitivity and specificity of cell-free DNA for sex chromosome abnormalities are high, the positive predictive value was approximately 50%. The positive predictive value was higher for sex chromosome abnormalities with a supernumerary Y chromosome and lower for monosomy X. Clinicians should inform couples about these findings when offering cell-free DNA for sex chromosome abnormalities.

      Key words

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