High-throughput, non-invasive prenatal testing for fetal rhesus D status in RhD-negative women: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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BACKGROUND: High-throughput non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for fetal Rhesus D (RhD) status could avoid unnecessary treatment with anti-D immunoglobulin for RhD-negative women found to be carrying an RhD-negative fetus. We aimed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of high-throughput NIPT for fetal RhD status in RhD-negative women not known to be sensitized to the RhD antigen, by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis.

METHODS: Prospective cohort studies of high-throughput NIPT used to determine fetal RhD status were included. The eligible population were pregnant women who were RhD negative and not known to be sensitized to RhD antigen. The index test was high-throughput, NIPT cell-free fetal DNA tests of maternal plasma used to determine fetal RhD status. The reference standard considered was serologic cord blood testing at birth. Databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index were searched up to February 2016. Two reviewers independently screened titles and abstracts and assessed full texts identified as potentially relevant. Risk of bias was assessed using QUADAS-2. The bivariate and hierarchical summary receiver-operating characteristic (HSROC) models were fitted to calculate summary estimates of sensitivity, specificity, false positive and false negative rates, and the associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: A total of 3921 references records were identified through electronic searches. Eight studies were included in the systematic review. Six studies were judged to be at low risk of bias. The HSROC models demonstrated high diagnostic performance of high-throughput NIPT testing for women tested at or after 11 weeks gestation. In the primary analysis for diagnostic accuracy, women with an inconclusive test result were treated as having tested positive. The false negative rate (incorrectly classed as RhD negative) was 0.34% (95% CI 0.15 to 0.76) and the false positive rate (incorrectly classed as RhD positive) was 3.86% (95% CI 2.54 to 5.82). There was limited evidence for non-white women and multiple pregnancies.

CONCLUSIONS: High-throughput NIPT is sufficiently accurate to detect fetal RhD status in RhD-negative women and would considerably reduce unnecessary treatment with routine anti-D immunoglobulin. The applicability of these findings to non-white women and women with multiple pregnancies is uncertain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2019

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© The Author(s). 2019

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