The many etiologies of nonimmune hydrops fetalis diagnosed by exome sequencing

Tova Wagner*, Duha Fahham, Ayala Frumkin, Avraham Shaag, Simcha Yagel, Nili Yanai, Shay Porat, Hagar Mor-Shaked, Vardiella Meiner, Hagit Daum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To explain the importance of identifying an etiology for the pathological finding of nonimmune hydrops fetalis (NIHF) and to explore the impact of exome sequencing in recurrent NIHF. In addition, we present two cases of pregnancies affected with recurrent NIHF, in which genetic investigation was advantageous. Methods: Our study aimed to investigate the genetic background, if available, of all fetuses with NIHF referred to our tertiary medical center from January 2013 to August 2020. We summarized the etiology of NIHF if known, sonographic findings, genetic investigation and the pregnancies' outcomes. Results: We encountered 144 families with NIHF. Genetic investigation was performed by chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) in 63 (63/144. 44%) fetuses. Seventeen of 63 (27%) had a positive CMA result. In the negative CMA group, 15 (15/46, 33%) opted for exome sequencing, of which seven exomes were positive (47%). Among these, there were four couples with recurrent pregnancies affected by hydrops. Among the remaining 11 exome investigations for non-recurrent hydrops, another three were diagnostic. Conclusion: As identifying the etiology of the NIHF is an invaluable tool for the prognosis of the pregnancy, exome sequencing can provide further elucidation of the underlying pathogenesis of NIHF. Thus, genetic investigation should be recommended for cases of NIHF.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)881-889
Number of pages9
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2022

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© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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