ABSTRACT: In the algorithm developed by the Fetal Medicine Foundation (FMF) Germany designed to evaluate the findings of routine first-trimester screening, the false-positive rate (FPR) was determined for the entire study group without stratification by maternal weight. Based on the data received from the continuous audit we were able to identify an increase in the FPR for the weight-related subgroups of patients, particularly for patients with extremely high body weights. The aim of this study was to demonstrate that the variability of the FPR can be reduced through adjusting the concentrations of free β-HCG and PAPP-A measured in the maternal serum by means of a nonlinear regression function modeling the dependence of these values on maternal weight.
The database used to establish a version of the algorithm enabling control of the FPR over the whole range of maternal weight consisted of n = 123 546 pregnancies resulting in the birth of a child without chromosomal anomalies. The group with positive outcomes covered n = 500 cases of trisomy 21 and n = 159 trisomies 13 or 18. The dependency of the serum parameters free β-HCG and PAPP-A on maternal weight was analyzed in the sample of negative outcomes by means of nonlinear regression. The fitted regression curve was of exponential form with negative slope. Using this model, all individual measurements were corrected through multiplication with a factor obtained as the ratio of the concentration level predicted by the model to belong to the average maternal body weight of 68.2 kg, over the ordinate of that point on the regression curve which belongs to the weight actually measured. Subsequently, the totality of all values of free β-HCG and PAPP-A corrected for deviation from average weight were used as input data for carrying out the construction of diagnostic discrimination rules described in our recent paper for a database to which no corrections for over- or under-weight had been applied. This entailed in particular the construction of new reference bands for the corrected biochemical values as the basis for calculating the degree of extremeness (DOE) measures to replace the more traditional MOMs. In the final and most crucial step, stratified FPRs were computed and compared over a set of intervals partitioning the whole range of maternal weight into 18 classes.
For the posterior risks of both trisomy 21 and 13 / 18 computed from the weight-corrected database, the use of a cutoff value of 1:150 turned out to be an appropriate choice. For T 21, the overall FPR obtained through comparing the individual risks with this cutoff was found to be 3.51 %. The corresponding proportion of ascertained cases of trisomy 21 detected by means of the new algorithm was 86.2 %. For the trisomy 13 / 18 group, the analogous results were a FPR of 2.07 % and a detection rate (DTR) of 83.0 %, respectively. A comparison between the FPRs obtained for the 18 intervals into which the range of maternal weight had been partitioned, showed the deviation of the strata-specific from the overall FPR to be fairly small: for T 21, the FPR ranged from 2.72 to 4.86 %, and the maximum was found in the group of 87.5 - 95.0 kg. For women with a weight of more than 120 kg, the FPR was only slightly above the FPR for the total sample (3.69 as compared to 3.51 %). Similar results were obtained for the discrimination rule constructed for diagnosing T 13 / 18: here, the minimum FPR (1.17 %) was found for patients weighing more than 120 kg, whereas the maximum (2.66 %) occurred in the interval 75.0 - 77.5 kg.
In this study we demonstrated that the new algorithm developed by the FMF Germany to estimate risks for fetal trisomies 21 and 13 / 18 combines very good misclassification rates with a far-reaching stability of the false-positive rate against even extreme deviations from the average maternal weight.
Ultraschall in der Medizin 02/2011; 32(1):33-9. · 2.40 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: First-trimester screening at 11 - 14 weeks has been proven to be very useful in the early detection of chromosomal defects. The aim of this project was to develop a CE-certified new risk calculation program (PRC = Prenatal Risk Calculation) using a nationwide database.
The database underlying the new risk calculation procedure was established in Germany from 2003 through 2006. Overall, the database includes measurements from 70,030 pregnant women having given birth to healthy children. Following consideration of all pregnancies associated with a chromosomally abnormal outcome, the sample size was 451. The algorithm used for calculating the risk of a chromosomally abnormal outcome comprises the following variables: maternal age, crown-rump length (CRL) (restricted to a range from 45 - 84 mm or, equivalently, 11 + 1 - 14 + 0 weeks of gestation), nuchal translucency (NT), as well as the maternal serum parameters PAPP-A (pregnancy associated plasma protein A) and free beta-hCG (free human chorionic gonadotropin). In a preliminary cross-validation study, we applied both the new algorithm and the FMF UK program to an independent sample containing n = 40,568 pregnancies with negative outcome, n = 187 cases of trisomy 21, n = 34 trisomies 18 and n = 13 trisomies 13.
Using the primary sample of 70,030 pregnancies with a negative outcome, reference bands were constructed for the sonographic parameter fetal nuchal translucency and the biochemical parameters PAPP-A and free beta-HCG. Instead of MoM values we used "degree of extremeness" (DoE) values. This statistical parameter has been proven to give more precise results than the MoM measure because it assesses the deviation of the actual measurement value from the centre of the reference band expressed as a multiple of the width of the respective band section. The result of the risk calculation is visualized by means of a traffic light graph which allows the patient to comprehend her individual risk at first glance. The red color indicates a high risk, green a low risk, and yellow represents a moderate risk. In our preliminary cross-validation study the detection rate obtained for the German algorithm was 86.6 % for trisomy 21, 94.1 % for trisomy 18 and 92.4 for trisomy 13. The corresponding detection rates obtained with the same data by the FMF UK program were 86.1 %, 82.3 % and 69.2 % throughout. The false-positive rate was 5.0 % throughout.
The new risk calculation procedure of the FMF Germany (PRC) has been made available as a CE-certified computer program. In screening for trisomy 21 it yields results comparable to those of the program used by the FMF UK. Regarding the diagnosis of trisomy 13 and 18, even higher detection rates are currently achieved with the German algorithm. Program, data base and license key are available free of charge to registered members of the FMF Germany.
Ultraschall in der Medizin 01/2009; 29(6):639-45. · 2.40 Impact Factor
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 09/2007; 30(4):542 - 543. · 3.01 Impact Factor