RhD status of a fetus at risk for haemolytic disease with a discrepant maternal DNA-based RhD genotype
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The cloning of the RHD gene has made it possible to determine the RhD status of fetuses at risk for haemolytic disease due to RhD iso-immunization using amniotic fluid or chorionic villi-derived DNA and the polymerase chain reaction. However, some Rh haplotypes are associated with false-positive or negative DNA-based results with the potential for an adverse outcome. We determined the RhD status of a fetus using amniotic fluid-derived DNA for an anti-D iso-immunized woman. Initially, we obtained the ethnic background and the complete RhD and RhCcEe phenotypes of both parents. The mother was RhD negative (Cde/cde) but her DNA was positive for exon 10 of the RHD gene. The fetus was positive for both exons 4 5 and exon 10. Southern analysis confirmed that the maternal DNA contained a portion of the RHD gene with a restriction pattern that was similar to RhD-positive individuals. This report illustrates that, in addition to fetal DNA genotyping, the same PCR assays, complete with RhD and RhCcEe phenotypes, and ethnic background of the parents should be obtained to alert the molecular diagnostic laboratory to the presence of rare Rh haplotypes that are associated with DNA genotyping errors.
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