Hyperglycosylated human chorionic gonadotropin (invasive trophoblast antigen) immunoassay: A new basis for gestational Down syndrome screening

Laurence A. Cole*, Shohreh Shahabi, Utku A. Oz, Ray O. Bahado-Singh, Maurice J. Mahoney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Serum human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and hCG free β- subunit tests are used in combination with unconjugated estriol and α- fetoprotein in the triple screen test, and with the addition of inhibin-A in the quadruple marker test for detecting Down syndrome in the second trimester of pregnancy. These tests have a limited detection rate for Down syndrome: ~40% for hCG or free β-subunit alone, ~60% for the triple screen test, and ~70% for the quadruple marker test, all at 5%, or a relatively high, false- positive rate. New tests are needed with higher detection and lower false rates. Hyperglycosylated hCG (also known as invasive trophoblast antigen or ITA) is a new test. It specifically detects a unique oligosaccharide variant of hCG associated with Down syndrome pregnancies. We evaluated this new Down syndrome-directed test in prenatal diagnosis. Methods: Hyperglycosylated hCG was measured in urine samples from women undergoing amniocentesis for advanced maternal age concerns at 14-22 weeks of gestation, 1448 with normal karyotype and 39 with Down syndrome fetuses. Results: The median hyperglycosylated hCG value was 9.5-fold higher in Down syndrome cases (9.5 multiples of the normal karyotype median). The single test detected 80% of Down syndrome cases at a 5% false-positive rate. Urine hyperglycosylated hCG was combined with urine β-core fragment (urine breakdown product of serum hCG free β-subunit), serum α-fetoprotein, and maternal age-related risk. This urine-serum combination detected 96% of Down syndrome cases at a 5% false-positive rate, 94% of cases at a 3% false-positive rate, and 71% of cases at a 1% false-positive rate. These detection rates exceed those of any previously reported combination of biochemical markers. Conclusions: Hyperglycosylated hCG is a new base marker for Down syndrome screening in the second trimester of pregnancy. The measurement of hyperglycosylated hCG can fundamentally improve the performance of Down syndrome screening protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2109-2119
Number of pages11
JournalClinical chemistry
Volume45
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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