High-resolution profiling of fetal DNA clearance from maternal plasma by massively parallel sequencing

Stephanie C Y Yu, Wee Yee Shara Lee, Peiyong Jiang, Tak Y. Leung, K. C Allen Chan, Rossa W K Chiu, Y. M Dennis Lo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

149 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: With the advent of massively parallel sequencing (MPS), DNA analysis can now be performed in a genomewide manner. Recent studies have demonstrated the high precision of MPS for quantifying fetal DNA in maternal plasma. In addition, paired-end sequencing can be used to determine the size of each sequenced DNA fragment. We applied MPS in a highresolution investigation of the clearance profile of circulating fetal DNA. METHODS: Using paired-end MPS, we analyzed serial samples of maternal plasma collected from 13 women after cesarean delivery. We also studied the transrenal excretion of circulating fetal DNA in 3 of these individuals by analyzing serial urine samples collected after delivery. RESULTS: The clearance of circulating fetal DNA occurred in 2 phases, with different kinetics. The initial rapid phase had a mean half-life of approximately 1 h, whereas the subsequent slow phase had a mean half-life of approximately 13 h. The final disappearance of circulating fetal DNA occurred at about 1 to 2 days postpartum. Although transrenal excretion was involved in the clearance of circulating fetal DNA, it was not the major route. Furthermore, we observed significant changes in the size profiles of circulating maternal DNA after delivery, but we did not observe such changes in circulating fetal DNA. CONCLUSIONS: MPS of maternal plasma and urinary DNA permits high-resolution study of the clearance profile of circulating fetal DNA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1237
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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