Maternal copy-number variations in the DMD gene as secondary findings in noninvasive prenatal screening

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Noninvasive prenatal screening (NIPS) using genome sequencing also reveals maternal copy-number variations (CNVs). Those CNVs can be clinically actionable or harmful to the fetus if inherited. CNVs in the DMD gene potentially causing dystrophinopathies are among the most commonly observed maternal CNVs. We present our experience with maternal DMD gene CNVs detected by NIPS.


We analyzed the data of maternal CNVs detected in the DMD gene revealed by NIPS.


Of 26,123 NIPS analyses, 16 maternal CNVs in the DMD gene were detected (1/1632 pregnant women). Variant classification regarding pathogenicity and phenotypic severity was based on public databases, segregation analysis in the family, and prediction of the effect on the reading frame. Ten CNVs were classified as pathogenic, four as benign, and two remained unclassified.


NIPS leverages CNV screening in the general population of pregnant women. We implemented a strategy for the interpretation and the return of maternal CNVs in the DMD gene detected by NIPS.

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Correspondence to Kris Van Den Bogaert PhD.

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  • maternal CNV
  • DMD gene
  • secondary findings
  • NIPS