The association between fetal nasal bone hypoplasia and aneuploidy

Anthony O. Odibo, Harish M. Sehdev, Linda Dunn, Raegan McDonald, George A. Macones

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46 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between fetal nasal bone hypoplasia and aneuploidy in women undergoing prenatal diagnosis. METHODS: A prospective cohort study involving women undergoing chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis for an increased risk of aneuploidy. Fetal biometric and nasal bone measurements were obtained at the time of prenatal diagnosis and compared with karyotypes. Nasal bone hypoplasia was defined as nasal bone less than 2.5th percentile for the gestational age. RESULTS: A total of 632 fetuses were evaluated. Twenty-nine (4.6%) had an aneuploidy (18 trisomy 21,5 trisomy 18, 1 Turner's syndrome, one Marker chromosome 1, 2 sex chromosome anomalies, and 2 triploidy). Nasal bone measurements were documented in 29 aneuploid fetuses. The nasal bone was either absent or hypoplastic in 12 of 29 (41%) fetuses with aneuploidy and in 8 of 18 (44%) with trisomy 21. By using receiver operating characteristics curves, the optimal threshold of nasal bone hypoplasia associated with fetal aneuploidy was a biparietal diameter/nasal bone ratio of 11 or greater. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for the detection of fetal aneuploidy were 50%, 93%, 24%, and 98%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Absent or hypoplastic nasal bone is a marker for fetal aneuploidy in a high-risk population. However, this marker needs to be evaluated by larger prospective studies in low-risk populations before adoption for clinical use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1233
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004


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