Clinical application of massively parallel sequencing-based prenatal noninvasive fetal trisomy test for trisomies 21 and 18 in 11 105 pregnancies with mixed risk factors


  • Funding sources: The study was funded by Shenzhen Birth Defect Screening Project Lab (JZF No. [2011] 861) approved by Shenzhen Municipal Commission for Development and Reform and Key Laboratory Project in Shenzhen (CXB200903110066A and CXB201108250096A) and Key Laboratory of Cooperation Project in Guangdong Province (2011A060906007).
  • Conflicts of interest: Wei Wang, Hongyun Zhang, Lijian Zhao, Fuman Jiang, Fang Chen, Hui Jiang, Songgang Li, Yingrui Li, Jun Wang, Jian Wang, Xiuqing Zhang are employees of BGI-Shenzhen and none of the other authors have any financial relationship with BGI-Shenzhen.

Xiuqing Zhang. E-mail: or Yue Su. E-mail: or Tao Duan. E-mail:



To report the performance of massively parallel sequencing (MPS) based prenatal noninvasive fetal trisomy test based on cell-free DNA sequencing from maternal plasma in a routine clinical setting in China.


The MPS-based test was offered as a prenatal screening test for trisomies 21 and 18 to pregnant women in 49 medical centers over 2 years. A total of 11 263 participants were recruited and the MPS-based test was performed in 11 105 pregnancies. Fetal outcome data were obtained after the expected date of confinement.


One hundred ninety cases were classified as positive, including 143 cases of trisomy 21 and 47 cases of trisomy 18. With the karyotyping results and the feedback of fetal outcome data, we observed one false positive case of trisomy 21, one false positive case of trisomy 18 and no false negative cases, indicating 100% sensitivity and 99.96% specificity for the detection of trisomies 21 and 18.


Our large-scale multicenter study proved that the MPS-based test is of high sensitivity and specificity in detecting fetal trisomies 21 and 18. The introduction of this screening test into a routine clinical setting could avoid about 98% of invasive prenatal diagnostic procedures. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.