POC Products of Conception
1. What is the Products of Conception (POC) test?
Miscarriage is all too common in the human population, occurring in up to 25% of all recognized pregnancies. When it happens to us, we may want to know “Why?” and “Could this happen again?” Products of Conception (POC) testing is a genetic test that can provide information to help answer these questions. The majority of miscarriages are caused by chromosome abnormalities. POC testing is done on tissue from the lost pregnancy and evaluates the chromosomes.
Normally there are 23 pairs of chromosomes in each human cell. A numerical change in the number of chromosomes is called aneuploidy. Most types of aneuploidy are not compatible with life and are likely to result in miscarriage. POC testing includes comprehensive analysis of all 24 chromosome types: the two sex chromosomes (X and Y) and the 22 other non-sex chromosomes. In this way, POC testing can detect whether the pregnancy had an abnormal number of chromosomes (aneuploidy) that might have caused the miscarriage.
The information from POC testing can be helpful for patients and physicians to understand the cause of miscarriage and to develop a plan to support a future successful pregnancy.
One of the major challenges faced with traditional POC testing methods is the ability to distinguish between fetal tissue and maternal tissue (maternal cell contamination, or MCC). Igenomix uses an innovative technology that combines the use of STR markers with array CGH (comparative genomic hybridization) for POC testing. This strategy can detect or rule out MCC with >99% accuracy.
Igenomix uses STR markers in combination with array CGH (comparative genomic hybridization) technology to perform POC testing on tissue from lost pregnancies. Our team works with BlueGnome’s 24sure BAC-based arrays to analyze all 24 chromosomes.
Fetal versus maternal tissue is identified whenever possible. The use of STR markers to determine maternal/fetal origin of the tissue requires that a blood sample from the mother be submitted along with the POC sample. Multiple dissections are taken to increase the likelihood of obtaining fetal tissue. This strategy enables us to provide results for the pregnancy in almost all (>99%) cases.
2. Who should use POC testing?
POC testing can be offered to any couple suffers a pregnancy loss, and is especially recommended for couples who have experienced recurrent miscarriages or couples who undergo assisted reproduction treatments.
3. What are the advantages of using Igenomix for POC testing?
- POC testing with Igenomix does not require cell culturing, so there is no risk of culture failure.
- Accurate results are obtained in more than 98% of tests performed.
- Multiple dissections will be made in order to detect or rule out maternal cell contamination (MCC) with >99% accuracy.
- Results are available in less than 1 week.
- POC testing with array CGH technology has greater resolution than the conventional karyotype.
1. How is the sample collected and shipped?
A fresh POC sample is collected from the D&C procedure. The sample is placed in the POC container provided (with saline in the cup), labeled, and placed in the Igenomix kit. The sample can be stored in a cool location (4?C) for up to 2 days and may be transported at room temperature.
2. Can POC testing be done on lost twin pregnancies?
Yes, POC testing can be done if a twin pregnancy has been lost. In this case, samples from each of the fetuses would need to be collected and placed in separate tubes.