How is congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD) diagnosed prenatally?

Updated: Jul 03, 2019
  • Author: Emad R Noor, MBChB; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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Prenatal diagnosis had been performed most commonly in families with mutations in laminin-α2, in part, because this is the most common congenital muscular dystrophy.

Laminin-α2 is expressed in 9-week trophoblasts, allowing immunohistochemical detection of protein in chorionic villus. However, in families with partial laminin-α2 deficiency, protein detection may not be reliable. Linkage analysis can also be performed but is also at times unreliable, especially in families with partial laminin-α2 deficiency or no brain MRI abnormalities. However, the combination of these 2 techniques along with rigorous controls has been highly accurate and reliable in the prenatal diagnosis of laminin-α2 mutations. The most reliable technique is direct mutation analysis, although this is more time consuming because the entire gene sequence must be analyzed.

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