Beginner’s Guide: Differences Between PGT and Whole Genome PGT

Written by Nick Murphy


July 11, 2022

When you hear of Preimplantation Genetic Testing, you may have heard of PGT-A or PGT-M. But you may have never heard of Pre-implantation Whole Genome Sequencing (we call it PGT-WGS).

Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) is the next step in the evolution of PGT. It is a more thorough test because it looks at the embryo's whole genome instead of just parts of the genome that are linked to certain diseases.

What is the Difference Between PGT-A, PGT-M, and PGT-WGS?

PGT-A (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidies) is a test that screens for chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome.

PGT-M (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Monogenic/Single Gene Disorders) is a test that screens for genetic disorders caused by a single gene, such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia.

PGT-WGS (Preimplantation Whole Genome Sequencing) is a test that screens for virtually any genetic condition, including those that are hereditary, such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, as well as those that are not inherited, such as chromosomal abnormalities. It can also find de novo mutations, which are mutations that happen on their own and are not passed down from parents to children.

PGT-WGS uses the latest technology, next generation sequencing (NGS), to sequence the entire genome of an embryo. While PGT-A is a rapid and low-cost test that can give you a yes or no answer as to whether an embryo has a chromosomal abnormality, WGS gives you a much more comprehensive view of the embryo's genetic makeup, including extremely precise and detailed information about chromosomal abnormalities.

How is PGT-WGS performed?

PGT-WGS is performed on embryos created through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). A small sample of cells is taken from each embryo and amplified for sequencing. Whole genome sequencing is used on the amplified embryo DNA and using the genetic parents genome sequences, analyzed for genetic abnormalities.

What are the benefits of PGT-WGS?

PGT WGS can help to ensure that only healthy embryos are implanted, which may lead to healthier pregnancies and babies. It can also help people avoid the pain and cost of implantation problems and miscarriages caused by genetic problems.

What are the risks of PGT-WGS?

There is a small risk that the procedure may damage the embryo. Most of the time, though, this is not a problem because modern methods are very gentle and work well.

WGS is a new technology and is not yet widely available. Because of this, you should talk to a fertility specialist who has done this procedure before to make sure it is right for you.

At GenEmbryomics, we offer PGT-WGS as part of our comprehensive genetic testing services. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Want more information?

Please submit the form to get more information about how we can be helpful

Send us a message and we’ll respond as soon as possible.