Transabdominal chorionic villus sampling for first-trimester prenatal diagnosis

Sherman Elias*, Joe Leigh Simpson, Lee P. Shulman, Donald Emerson, Avirachan Tharapel, Linda Seely

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We report here our technique and initial experience with transabdominal chorionic villus sampling for first-trimester prenatal diagnosis at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. Eighty-seven patients underwent transabdominal chorionic villus sampling between 9 and 12 menstrual weeks of pregnancy. Sufficient chorionic villi (≥5 mg) were obtained from 83 of the 87 patients (95.4%); in 73 (88%) of the 83 successful samplings only a single needle passage was required. In one case a 47,XX, +21 complement was diagnosed; the patient elected to terminate the pregnancy and the diagnosis was confirmed in the abortus. In a second case a 46,XX,rcp(15;21)(p11;q21) woman had a fetus who also had the same balanced translocation. In a third case nonmosaic 47,XX, +16 was detected in both direct preparations of cytotrophoblast cells and cultured mesenchymal core cells. Amniocentesis performed at 15 weeks showed a normal 46,XX complement. The pregnancy continued, and the patient was delivered at term of a healthy female infant. Two spontaneous fetal losses occurred in this series, and one woman underwent an elective abortion after receiving the results of a 46,XX complement. To date, 39 of the women have been delivered and all infants are doing well; the remaining 44 pregnancies are continuing uneventfully. We conclude that transabdominal chorionic villus sampling can be a useful altermative to transcervical chorionic villus sampling, particularly when transcervical sampling is contraindicated (e.g., active genital herpes) or where the transcervical approach would be technically difficult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-886
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1989


  • Transabdominal chorionic villus sampling
  • prenatal diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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