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Prenatal Topic Track

The Prenatal Topic Track features research in specialized areas of pediatric, maternal, and fetal clinical chemistry as well as educational sessions on analytes, methods of analysis, and reference ranges for pediatric and maternal-fetal patients.


*Brown Bag Session: Prenatal Screening for Down Syndrome: From Maternal Serum Screening to Cell-Free Fetal DNA Testing 42117 (Repeats as 52217)

Speaker: Waddah Katrangi, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.


Oral Abstract Session: Breakthroughs in Maternal, Fetal and Pediatric Medicine 33101

AACC is dedicated to advancing the science and practice of laboratory medicine. A select group of members have reviewed and ranked the abstracts submitted for the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting for acceptance. The Annual Meeting Organizing Committee has reviewed the accepted abstracts in the area of maternal, fetal, and pediatric medicine and has chosen four authors to present their research as oral presentations in a symposia. Each 15 minute presentation will be followed by a 5 minute question-and-answer session.

Moderator: Octavia Palmer, PhD, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA.


Precision Medicine Delivered by Advances in Circulating Cell-Free DNA Diagnostics 34212

Molecular and personalized genetic tests are expanding in the routine laboratory. Circulating nucleic acids, namely extra-cellular DNA or RNA molecules present in human circulation, serve as versatile biomarkers for achieving blood-based molecular diagnostics for the investigation of fetal health, cancers, other pathologies, and post-transplantation complications. Recently, there have been some exciting advances made in relation to circulating cell-free nucleic acid analysis, resulting in cutting-edge noninvasive applications for personalized diagnostics. In this session, the participant will learn about the latest applications of circulating nucleic acid analysis, including its utility in organ transplantation monitoring, and in determining the anatomical location of cancers and other diseases. Current strategies for the use of cell free DNA for prenatal screening will be discussed as well as barriers to implementation. The advances in analytical approaches, including droplet digital PCR, nanopore sequencing, and methylome analysis will also be reviewed.

Moderator: Rossa Chiu, MBBS, PhD, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories.

Speakers: Prospective cfDNA-based Prenatal Screening in the General Pregnancy Population Offered by Primary Obstetrical Care Providers in Rhode Island, Glenn Palomaki, PhD, Women & Infants Hospital, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI; Graft-Derived Cell-Free DNA as a Biomarker in Organ Transplantation, Michael Oellerich, MD, George-August University, Goettingen, Germany; Liquid Biopsy as a Total Body Scan: Unravelling the Sites of Cancer and Other Pathologies, Rossa Chiu, MBBS, PhD, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories.


Marijuana from the Street to the Clinic: Medicalization, Legalization, and Unintended Consequences 35102

This session will provide a discussion of the impact of cannabis use in various populations. Particular attention will be paid to prenatal and perinatal use of marijuana, the impact of marijuana on neurodevelopment in different populations, and challenges for the clinical laboratory in the context of cannabis testing. Attendees will hear about these issues in the context of legalization of marijuana and its unintended consequences.

Speakers: Counseling Women about Prenatal Marijuana Use: Weeding through the Data, Torri Metz, MD, Denver Health Medical Center; The Great Marijuana Experiment, the Developing Adolescent Brain and Challenges for the Clinical Laboratory, Marilyn Huestis, PhD, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

*About Brown Bag sessions: These small discussion settings provide intimate exchanges between participants and experts. Expect lively conversation, dialogue, and debate, as well as Q&As. Attendance is limited to 10 participants. Advance registration and fees are required.