The Diagnostic Yield of Prenatal Genetic Technologies in Congenital Heart Disease: A Prospective Cohort Study

Fionnuala Mone, Bethany K Stott, Susan Hamilton, Anna N Seale, Elizabeth Quinlan-Jones, Stephanie Allen, Matthew E Hurles, Dominic J McMullan, Eamonn R Maher, Mark D Kilby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: The objective was to evaluate: (i) the proportion of prenatally diagnosed congenital heart disease (CHD) associated with an abnormal quantitative fluorescence-PCR (QF-PCR), chromosome microarray (CMA), and exome sequencing (ES) result; and (ii) the diagnostic yield of these technologies based on CHD category and presence of extra-cardiac anomalies (ECAs).

METHODS: This prospective cohort study was set across 12 UK foetal medicine centres. All cases underwent QF-PCR, CMA, and ES, and the diagnostic yield in n = 147 cases of prenatally diagnosed CHD was assessed.

RESULTS: In 34.7% (n = 51/147), a genetic diagnosis was obtained. Using a stepwise testing strategy, the diagnostic yield for QF-PCR, CMA, and ES was 15.6% (n = 23/147), 13.7% (n = 17/124), and 10.2% (n = 11/107), respectively. Abnormal QF-PCR/shunt (septal) defects 31.4% (n = 11/35), p = 0.046, and abnormal CMA/conotruncal anomalies 22.7% (n = 10/44), p = 0.04, had significant associations. Monogenic variants were commonest in complex CHD 36.4% (n = 4/11). Multisystem CHD had a greater diagnostic yield overall compared to isolated OR 2.41 (95% CI, 1.1-5.1), particularly in association with brain and gastrointestinal tract anomalies. The proportion of variants of uncertain significance was 4.7% (n = 5/107) with ES, with none in the CMA group.

CONCLUSION: In the era of prenatal ES, there remains an important role for QF-PCR and CMA. Identification of monogenic pathologic variants further allows delineation of prognosis in CHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112–119
Number of pages8
JournalFetal diagnosis and therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2021


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