POC Patient

POC – Patient

Looking for answers? 

A miscarriage is a devastating event. Up to 50% of first trimester miscarriages (60% in patients
undergoing ART), are due to chromosomal problems. A POC test can help find answers.

Products of Conception (POC) Testing

POC testing at Access Genomics uses Next generations sequencing (NGS),
providing:

  • Low test failure rate
  • Rapid turnaround time (7-10 business days)
  • No false negatives due to maternal DNA
  • Kits can be stored at room temperature at home

What is POC testing?

Products of Conception (POC) testing is a type of genomic screening that can help determine if a pregnancy loss was due to chromosome abnormalities.

What is aneuploidy?

Most cells in the human body have 46 chromosomes; 2 copies each of 23. Chromosomes contain DNA; the genetic information that directs growth and development.  Aneuploidy refers to extra or missing chromosomes. Human embryos with the wrong number of chromosomes are very common. These embryos may not even implant and lead to pregnancy, or if they do implant, they can be lost very early on, before a positive pregnancy is even detected.  However, sometimes, an aneuploid embryo does implant and continues to grow for a period of time but then results in a miscarriage. Chromosomal abnormalities are the most common cause of miscarriage.

What can POC testing tell me?

POC testing may be able to tell you if your pregnancy loss was due to aneuploidy.  This information can help you understand what happened and provide peace of mind.

If you are someone who suffers from Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL), POC testing may be helpful in identifying and learning more about the specific aneuploidies (chromosome gains and losses) that could be involved.

If you are a patient using Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) through a fertility clinic, the results of POC testing can assist your physician in determining optimal strategies for reproductive success.

What is involved in POC testing?

Miscarriage tissue and a maternal blood sample are sent to Access Genomics for analysis.  We use the maternal blood sample to exclude the mother’s DNA from the analysis.  We then use innovative Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology to analyze the DNA from the miscarriage tissue and determine the number of chromosomes.

We can also identify partial gains and losses of chromosome pieces, called duplications and deletions, which may also cause pregnancy loss. Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to detect these gains and losses with the highest resolution available (~3.0Mb).

POC testing vs traditional karyotyping

  • Results available much faster (7-10 business days, compared to 1 month)
  • Results are obtained for the majority of POC samples (failure rate for karyotyping is over 40%)
  • Maternal DNA is excluded from the sample (up to one-third of karyotyping results are inaccurate due to maternal DNA)

What should I do if I am at home and start to miscarry but do not have a POC test kit?

Products of Conception (POC) testing is a type of genomic screening that can help determine if a pregnancy loss was due to chromosome abnormalities.

  • If you start to miscarry, it may be helpful to use a bowl under the toilet seat to collect the tissue sample. If the tissue sample falls into the toilet, you can remove it from the water for collection.
  • Place the tissue into a sealable plastic bag (Ziploc or similar) or any clean, air-tight container.
  • Do not add water or any other liquid.
  • Place into the refrigerator (Do not freeze).
  • Call your Doctor’s office. You will also need to have a blood sample taken.
  • Take the tissue sample to your Doctor’s office as soon as possible (<72 hours) for sample transfer into the saline-filled specimen container.

How long can the tissue be kept in the refrigerator at home?

  • The DNA in the sample starts to degrade quite quickly, therefore the sooner we receive the sample for testing, the better. Please try to get the sample to your Doctor as soon as possible. Ideally, the sample should not be more than 72 hours old

If I have collected tissue into a POC kit, what are my next steps?

  • Call your Doctor’s office. You will also need to have a blood sample taken.
  • Take the POC kit with tissue sample to your Doctor’s office as soon as possible (<72 hours).
  • Once your Doctor has your tissue sample and blood sample, they will send these to Access Genomics for testing.
  • Results are released to the ordering physician within 7-10 business days.