Publications by authors named "Bella Davidov"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A synonymous variant in MYO15A enriched in the Ashkenazi Jewish population causes autosomal recessive hearing loss due to abnormal splicing.

Eur J Hum Genet 2021 Jan 4. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Harvard Medical School Center for Hereditary Deafness, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Nonsyndromic hearing loss is genetically heterogeneous. Despite comprehensive genetic testing, many cases remain unsolved because the clinical significance of identified variants is uncertain or because biallelic pathogenic variants are not identified for presumed autosomal recessive cases. Common synonymous variants are often disregarded. Determining the pathogenicity of synonymous variants may improve genetic diagnosis. We report a synonymous variant c.9861 C > T/p.(Gly3287=) in MYO15A in homozygosity or compound heterozygosity with another pathogenic or likely pathogenic MYO15A variant in 10 unrelated families with nonsyndromic sensorineural hearing loss. Biallelic variants in MYO15A were identified in 21 affected and were absent in 22 unaffected siblings. A mini-gene assay confirms that the synonymous variant leads to abnormal splicing. The variant is enriched in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. Individuals carrying biallelic variants involving c.9861 C > T often exhibit progressive post-lingual hearing loss distinct from the congenital profound deafness typically associated with biallelic loss-of-function MYO15A variants. This study establishes the pathogenicity of the c.9861 C > T variant in MYO15A and expands the phenotypic spectrum of MYO15A-related hearing loss. Our work also highlights the importance of multicenter collaboration and data sharing to establish the pathogenicity of a relatively common synonymous variant for improved diagnosis and management of hearing loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-020-00790-wDOI Listing
January 2021

Spectrum of genes for inherited hearing loss in the Israeli Jewish population, including the novel human deafness gene ATOH1.

Clin Genet 2020 10 24;98(4):353-364. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Department of Human Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Mutations in more than 150 genes are responsible for inherited hearing loss, with thousands of different, severe causal alleles that vary among populations. The Israeli Jewish population includes communities of diverse geographic origins, revealing a wide range of deafness-associated variants and enabling clinical characterization of the associated phenotypes. Our goal was to identify the genetic causes of inherited hearing loss in this population, and to determine relationships among genotype, phenotype, and ethnicity. Genomic DNA samples from informative relatives of 88 multiplex families, all of self-identified Jewish ancestry, with either non-syndromic or syndromic hearing loss, were sequenced for known and candidate deafness genes using the HEar-Seq gene panel. The genetic causes of hearing loss were identified for 60% of the families. One gene was encountered for the first time in human hearing loss: ATOH1 (Atonal), a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor responsible for autosomal dominant progressive hearing loss in a five-generation family. Our results show that genomic sequencing with a gene panel dedicated to hearing loss is effective for genetic diagnoses in a diverse population. Comprehensive sequencing enables well-informed genetic counseling and clinical management by medical geneticists, otolaryngologists, audiologists, and speech therapists and can be integrated into newborn screening for deafness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13817DOI Listing
October 2020

Loss of SMPD4 Causes a Developmental Disorder Characterized by Microcephaly and Congenital Arthrogryposis.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 10 5;105(4):689-705. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Department of Clinical Genetics, ErasmusMC University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Sphingomyelinases generate ceramide from sphingomyelin as a second messenger in intracellular signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, or apoptosis. Children from 12 unrelated families presented with microcephaly, simplified gyral pattern of the cortex, hypomyelination, cerebellar hypoplasia, congenital arthrogryposis, and early fetal/postnatal demise. Genomic analysis revealed bi-allelic loss-of-function variants in SMPD4, coding for the neutral sphingomyelinase-3 (nSMase-3/SMPD4). Overexpression of human Myc-tagged SMPD4 showed localization both to the outer nuclear envelope and the ER and additionally revealed interactions with several nuclear pore complex proteins by proteomics analysis. Fibroblasts from affected individuals showed ER cisternae abnormalities, suspected for increased autophagy, and were more susceptible to apoptosis under stress conditions, while treatment with siSMPD4 caused delayed cell cycle progression. Our data show that SMPD4 links homeostasis of membrane sphingolipids to cell fate by regulating the cross-talk between the ER and the outer nuclear envelope, while its loss reveals a pathogenic mechanism in microcephaly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.08.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6817560PMC
October 2019

Consensus interpretation of the p.Met34Thr and p.Val37Ile variants in GJB2 by the ClinGen Hearing Loss Expert Panel.

Genet Med 2019 11 4;21(11):2442-2452. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital, Dubai, UAE.

Purpose: Pathogenic variants in GJB2 are the most common cause of autosomal recessive sensorineural hearing loss. The classification of c.101T>C/p.Met34Thr and c.109G>A/p.Val37Ile in GJB2 are controversial. Therefore, an expert consensus is required for the interpretation of these two variants.

Methods: The ClinGen Hearing Loss Expert Panel collected published data and shared unpublished information from contributing laboratories and clinics regarding the two variants. Functional, computational, allelic, and segregation data were also obtained. Case-control statistical analyses were performed.

Results: The panel reviewed the synthesized information, and classified the p.Met34Thr and p.Val37Ile variants utilizing professional variant interpretation guidelines and professional judgment. We found that p.Met34Thr and p.Val37Ile are significantly overrepresented in hearing loss patients, compared with population controls. Individuals homozygous or compound heterozygous for p.Met34Thr or p.Val37Ile typically manifest mild to moderate hearing loss. Several other types of evidence also support pathogenic roles for these two variants.

Conclusion: Resolving controversies in variant classification requires coordinated effort among a panel of international multi-institutional experts to share data, standardize classification guidelines, review evidence, and reach a consensus. We concluded that p.Met34Thr and p.Val37Ile variants in GJB2 are pathogenic for autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss with variable expressivity and incomplete penetrance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-019-0535-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235630PMC
November 2019

[UTILIZATION OF WHOLE EXOME SEQUENCING IN DIAGNOSTICS OF GENETIC DISEASE: RABIN MEDICAL CENTER'S EXPERIENCE].

Harefuah 2017 Apr;156(4):212-216

Raphael Recanati Genetics Institute, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, Petach Tikva, Israel.

Introduction: Whole exome sequencing is a diagnostic approach for the identification of molecular etiology in patients with suspected monogenic diseases. In this article we report on our experience with whole-exome sequencing (WES) of DNA samples taken from patients referred for genetic evaluation due to suspected undiagnosed genetic conditions.

Methods: Exome enrichment was achieved by Nextera Rapid Capture Expanded Exome Kit. Whole-exome sequencing was performed on Illumina HiSeq 2500. Potentially damaging rare variants were selected for familial cosegregation analysis.

Results: A total of 39 patients presenting a wide range of phenotypes suspected to have a genetic cause were sent to WES. Approximately 80% were children with neurological phenotypes. Variations having a high probability of being causative were identified in 20 families, achieving a 51.3% molecular diagnostic rate. Among these, 7 exhibited autosomal dominant disease, 12 autosomal recessive diseases and one X-linked disease; 28% of the patients (11/39) were found to carry a novel mutation located in previously reported genes. Novel mutations located in genes not known to be associated with genetic disease were identified in 23% of the patients (9/39).

Conclusions: Whole exome sequencing identified the underlying genetic cause in more than half of the patients referred for evaluation in the genetics clinic at the tertiary hospital. These data demonstrate the utility of WES as a powerful tool for effective diagnostics of monogenic genetic diseases.
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April 2017

A founder mutation in ADAMTSL4 causes early-onset bilateral ectopia lentis among Jews of Bukharian origin.

Mol Genet Metab 2016 Jan 26;117(1):38-41. Epub 2015 Nov 26.

Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Felsenstein Medical Research Center, Rabin Medical Center, Petach Tikva, Israel; The Raphael Recanati Genetic Institute, Rabin Medical Center, Petach Tikva, Israel; Pediatric Genetics Unit, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petach Tikva, Israel.

The term isolated ectopia lentis (EL; subluxation or dislocation of the human crystalline lens) is applied to patients with EL, without skeletal features and in the absence of aortic root dilatation. To date, the only gene shown to cause autosomal-recessive isolated EL is ADAMTSL4. Here we report a novel founder mutation in ADAMTSL4 gene in children of Bukharian Jewish origin presenting with early-onset bilateral EL. A carrier frequency of 1:48 was determined among unrelated healthy Bukharian Jews. Given the complications associated with disease and the allele frequency, a population screening for individuals of this ancestry is warranted in order to allow prenatal, pre-implantation or early postnatal diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2015.11.011DOI Listing
January 2016

Nonvisualization of the Fetal Gallbladder: Can Levels of Gamma-Glutamyl Transpeptidase in Amniotic Fluid Predict Fetal Prognosis?

Fetal Diagn Ther 2016 3;39(1):50-5. Epub 2015 Jun 3.

Helen Schneider Hospital for Women, Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tiqwa, Israel.

Objective: In cases of nonvisualization of the fetal gallbladder (NVFGB), we investigated whether amniotic fluid levels of gamma-Glutamyl transpeptidase (GGTP) can distinguish normal development or benign gallbladder agenesis from severe anomaly such as biliary atresia.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of pregnancies in which the gallbladder was not visualized in the second-trimester fetal anatomy scan. Levels of GGTP in amniotic fluid were analyzed prior to 22 weeks of gestation by amniocentesis. Data were collected regarding other fetal malformations, fetal karyotype, and screening results for cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene mutations.

Results: Of 32 cases of NVFGB, 27 (84%) had normal GGTP levels and a normal CFTR gene screening, and 1 of them had an abnormal karyotype. Three of the 5 cases with low GGTP were diagnosed with extrahepatic biliary atresia, proven by histopathological examination following termination of pregnancy. The fourth case had hepatic vasculature abnormality and the fifth isolated gallbladder agenesis. In 22 of 32 cases (68.7%), the gallbladder was detected either later in pregnancy or after delivery.

Conclusion: The findings support low levels of GGTP in amniotic fluid, combined with NVFGB, as a sign of severe disease, mainly biliary atresia. Normal GGTP levels, concomitant with isolated NVFGB, carry a good prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000430440DOI Listing
November 2016

The many faces of sensorineural hearing loss: one founder and two novel mutations affecting one family of mixed Jewish ancestry.

Genet Test Mol Biomarkers 2014 Feb 24;18(2):123-6. Epub 2013 Dec 24.

1 Raphael Recanati Genetics Institute , Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tikva, Israel .

Dramatic progress has been made in our understanding of the highly heterogeneous molecular bases of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), demonstrating the involvement of all known forms of inheritance and a plethora of genes tangled in various molecular pathways. This progress permits the provision of prognostic information and genetic counseling for affected families, which might, nevertheless, be exceedingly challenging. Here, we describe an intricate genetic investigation that included Sanger-type sequencing, BeadArray technology, and next-generation sequencing to resolve a complex case involving one family presenting syndromic and nonsyndromic SNHL phenotypes in two consecutive generations. We demonstrate and conclude that such an effort can be completed during pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/gtmb.2013.0328DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3926139PMC
February 2014

Novel myosin mutations for hereditary hearing loss revealed by targeted genomic capture and massively parallel sequencing.

Eur J Hum Genet 2014 Jun 9;22(6):768-75. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Hereditary hearing loss is genetically heterogeneous, with a large number of genes and mutations contributing to this sensory, often monogenic, disease. This number, as well as large size, precludes comprehensive genetic diagnosis of all known deafness genes. A combination of targeted genomic capture and massively parallel sequencing (MPS), also referred to as next-generation sequencing, was applied to determine the deafness-causing genes in hearing-impaired individuals from Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab families. Among the mutations detected, we identified nine novel mutations in the genes encoding myosin VI, myosin VIIA and myosin XVA, doubling the number of myosin mutations in the Middle East. Myosin VI mutations were identified in this population for the first time. Modeling of the mutations provided predicted mechanisms for the damage they inflict in the molecular motors, leading to impaired function and thus deafness. The myosin mutations span all regions of these molecular motors, leading to a wide range of hearing phenotypes, reinforcing the key role of this family of proteins in auditory function. This study demonstrates that multiple mutations responsible for hearing loss can be identified in a relatively straightforward manner by targeted-gene MPS technology and concludes that this is the optimal genetic diagnostic approach for identification of mutations responsible for hearing loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ejhg.2013.232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4023209PMC
June 2014

Targeted genomic capture and massively parallel sequencing to identify genes for hereditary hearing loss in Middle Eastern families.

Genome Biol 2011 Sep 14;12(9):R89. Epub 2011 Sep 14.

Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.

Background: Identification of genes responsible for medically important traits is a major challenge in human genetics. Due to the genetic heterogeneity of hearing loss, targeted DNA capture and massively parallel sequencing are ideal tools to address this challenge. Our subjects for genome analysis are Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab families with hearing loss that varies in mode of inheritance and severity.

Results: A custom 1.46 MB design of cRNA oligonucleotides was constructed containing 246 genes responsible for either human or mouse deafness. Paired-end libraries were prepared from 11 probands and bar-coded multiplexed samples were sequenced to high depth of coverage. Rare single base pair and indel variants were identified by filtering sequence reads against polymorphisms in dbSNP132 and the 1000 Genomes Project. We identified deleterious mutations in CDH23, MYO15A, TECTA, TMC1, and WFS1. Critical mutations of the probands co-segregated with hearing loss. Screening of additional families in a relevant population was performed. TMC1 p.S647P proved to be a founder allele, contributing to 34% of genetic hearing loss in the Moroccan Jewish population.

Conclusions: Critical mutations were identified in 6 of the 11 original probands and their families, leading to the identification of causative alleles in 20 additional probands and their families. The integration of genomic analysis into early clinical diagnosis of hearing loss will enable prediction of related phenotypes and enhance rehabilitation. Characterization of the proteins encoded by these genes will enable an understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in hearing loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2011-12-9-r89DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3308052PMC
September 2011

Diagnostic utility of array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) in a prenatal setting.

Prenat Diagn 2010 Dec;30(12-13):1131-7

The Raphael Recanati Genetic Institute, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Hospital, Petah Tikva, Israel.

Objective: Array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) is a new technique for detecting submicroscopic deletions and duplications. There is limited information regarding its use in the prenatal setting. Here, we present our experience of 269 prenatal aCGHs between 2006 and 2009.

Method: The indications for testing were fetal anomalies on ultrasound (U/S), advanced maternal age (AMA), family history of a disorder of unknown etiology, parental concern, abnormal routine karyotype and abnormal serum biochemical screening for common fetal aneuploidies.

Results: Of 15 cases with a known abnormal karyotype, 11 had a normal aCGH. This enabled us to reassure the families and the pregnancies were continued. The remaining four showed an abnormal aCGH, confirming the chromosomes were unbalanced, and were terminated. Of 254 cases with a normal karyotype, 3 had an abnormal aCGH and were terminated. Overall, new clinically relevant results were detected by aCGH in 18 cases, providing additional information for prenatal genetic counseling and risk assessment.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that prenatal aCGH should be offered particularly in cases with abnormal U/S. We found the rate of detecting an abnormality by aCGH in low-risk pregnancies was 1:84, but larger studies will be needed to expand our knowledge and validate our conclusions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pd.2626DOI Listing
December 2010

Genetic screening for autosomal recessive nonsyndromic mental retardation in an isolated population in Israel.

Eur J Hum Genet 2007 Feb 6;15(2):250-3. Epub 2006 Dec 6.

Department of Medical Genetics, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, Petah Tikva, Israel.

Nonsyndromic mental retardation (NSMR) is the diagnosis of exclusion in mentally retarded individuals without additional abnormalities. We have recently identified a protein-truncating mutation, G408fsX437, in the gene CC2D1A on chromosome 19p13.12 in nine consanguineous Israeli Arab families with severe autosomal recessive NSMR, and have developed a comprehensive prevention program among the at-risk population in the village. The subjects tested were healthy women who were invited to undergo the genetic screening test as a part of their routine pregnancy monitoring. One hundred and seventeen subjects reported a family history positive for mental retardation. We tested 524 pregnant or preconceptional women and found 47 carriers (approximately 1/11), whose spouses were then recommended to undergo testing. We identified eight carrier couples, who were given genetic counseling and offered prenatal diagnosis. Of all the marriages, 28.6% were consanguineous; 16.5% of the total were between first cousins. The high prevalence of the mutation can be explained both by the founder effect owing to the generally high consanguinity rate among the inhabitants of the village, and also because two families with excessive numbers of mentally retarded offspring were unacceptable as marriage partners by the rest of the families. This is the first example of the establishment of a large-scale genetic screening program for autosomal recessive NSMR, which was made possible owing to the high frequency of the specific causative mutation in this isolated population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201750DOI Listing
February 2007

Amniotic trisomy 11 mosaicism--is it a benign finding?

Prenat Diagn 2006 Sep;26(9):778-81

Department of Medical Genetics, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, Petah Tiqva, Israel.

Objectives: A case of prenatally diagnosed trisomy 11 mosaicism with a normal outcome is reported and the medical literature on prenatal detection of this finding is reviewed.

Methods: Proportion of cells with trisomy 11 was evaluated in amniocytes, fetal blood lymphocytes, newborn fibroblasts and urinary epithelial cells. Karyotype studies and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis using the 11q13LS1 CCND1 probe were performed.

Results: Trisomy 11 level III mosaicism of 26% was detected in amniotic fluid cells. Periumbilical blood sampling showed a normal fetal karyotype. No fetal structural abnormalities were noted on ultrasound scan. The infant was spontaneously delivered and had normal physical findings at birth. No evidence of trisomic cells was found on extensive postnatal evaluation, implying an extraembryonic origin. Molecular analysis excluded uniparental disomy of chromosome 11. At 1 year of age, the baby is developing normally.

Conclusions: Only three reports on trisomy 11 mosaicism identified at amniocentesis have been published previously, all with a normal outcome. Additional cases of prenatally diagnosed mosaicism for trisomy 11 are necessary to assess more accurately the clinical significance of this finding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pd.1501DOI Listing
September 2006

Chromosome aberration and environmental physical activity: Down syndrome and solar and cosmic ray activity, Israel, 1990-2000.

Int J Biometeorol 2005 Sep 30;50(1):1-5. Epub 2005 Jun 30.

Division of Cardiology, Rabin Medical Centre, Beilinson Campus, Petah Tikva, Israel.

The possibility that environmental effects are associated with chromosome aberrations and various congenital pathologies has been discussed previously. Recent advances in the collection and computerization of data make studying these potential associations more feasible. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible link between the number of Down syndrome (DS) cases detected prenatally or at birth yearly in Israel over a 10-year period compared with the levels of solar and cosmic ray activity 1 year before the detection or birth of each affected child. Information about 1,108,449 births was collected for the years 1990-2000, excluding 1991, when data were unavailable. A total of 1,310 cases of DS were detected prenatally or at birth--138 in the non-Jewish community and 1,172 in the Jewish population. Solar activity indices--sunspot number and solar radio flux 2,800 MHz at 10.7 cm wavelength for 1989-1999--were compared with the number of DS cases detected. Pearson correlation coefficients (r) and their probabilities (P) were established for the percentage of DS cases in the whole population. There was a significant inverse correlation between the indices of solar activity and the number of cases of DS detected--r=-0.78, P=0.008 for sunspot number and r=-0.76, P=0.01 for solar flux. The possibility that cosmophysical factors inversely related to solar activity play a role in the pathogenesis of chromosome aberrations should be considered. We have confirmed a strong trend towards an association between the cosmic ray activity level and the incidence of DS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00484-005-0274-2DOI Listing
September 2005

Prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome: ten year experience in the Israeli population.

Am J Med Genet A 2003 Oct;122A(3):215-22

Department of Medical Genetics, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, Petah Tikva, Israel.

Second trimester maternal serum biochemical markers, introduced between 1990 and 1995, were supplemented with new ultrasound methods at 14-16 weeks and first trimester biochemical markers between 1995 and 2000. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a Down syndrome (DS) prevention program among the Israeli Jewish population between 1990 and 2000. We collected data on the total number of prenatal tests performed on Israeli Jewish women, DS cases detected prenatally and DS livebirths in Israel during these years. We also studied the use of the newer screening tests in 1990, 1992, and 2000. Between 1990 and 1995, use of chromosomal studies for DS in this population increased from 11.3% to 21.6% and the percentage of cases detected prenatally from 53% to 70%. However, between 1996 and 2000, even with the new screening methods, the utilization rate remained similar (20.7% and 19.8%, respectively) and the percentage detected prenatally decreased to 61% in 2000. The total cost per case detected increased from $47,971 US dollars in 1990 to $75,229 US dollars in 1992, and to $190,171 US dollars in 2000. Between 1990 and 1995, improvement in the percentage of cases detected prenatally was associated with a significant increase in the amniocentesis rate-both are attributed to the introduction of second trimester maternal serum biochemical marker tests. Unexpectedly, the introduction between 1995 and 2000 of new genetic methods to assess the DS risk did not improve the percentage detected or reduce the amniocentesis rate, and was accompanied by an increased cost per case detected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.20246DOI Listing
October 2003