Detection of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal urine

S. Illanes, M. L. Denbow, R. P. Smith, T. G. Overton, P. W. Soothill, K. Finning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the presence of cell-free fetal DNA signals in maternal urine as a potential source of material for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. Study Design: Patients referred to the regional fetal medicine unit who underwent prenatal diagnosis by chorionic villus sampling (CVS) were asked to give blood and urine immediately before the procedure. Maternal blood and urine were centrifuged at 10000 g for 10 min. Plasma (1 mL) and urine (1 mL) supernatant were transferred to a clean tube and centrifuged again. The plasma (0.8 mL) and urine (0.8 mL) supernatant were removed without disturbing the cell pellet and stored at -80°C. Following DNA extraction, each sample was tested for the presence of Y chromosome associated DYS14 gene using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The total amount (maternal and fetal) of DNA in each sample was estimated using a quantitative real-time PCR assay. Results: Twenty patients were enrolled in the study. CVS was performed at a median gestational age of 13 weeks (range 11 + 5-14 + 1). There were 12 male and 8 female fetuses, as confirmed by karyotype. Y chromosome DNA was not detected in any of the 20 samples of maternal urine, including 12 of the 20 samples in which Y chromosome DNA was detected in maternal plasma (all of whom were subsequently confirmed to be carrying a male fetus). There was considerable variation in the amount of total free DNA detected in maternal urine. Conclusions: Cell-free fetal DNA either was not present or did not amplify in maternal urine. Copyright
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1216-1218
Number of pages3
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetal DNA
  • Maternal urine
  • Non-invasive prenatal diagnosis


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