INVASIVE PRENATAL TESTING
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) involves the sampling of placental tissue using a needle that is passed through the maternal abdomen into the placenta. This one- minute procedure is done as an ultrasound guided technique, using a local anaesthetic agent and is generally well tolerated.
Amniocentesis involves the removal of a small amount of amniotic fluid to examine the fetal skin cells for chromosomal abnormalities. A thin needle is passed through the maternal abdomen into the uterus to remove a small amount of amniotic fluid (10ml). The procedure lasts less than 1 minute after which fetal well being is confirmed.
Fetal Blood Sampling (Cordocentesis)
Fetal blood sampling involves the removal of a small amount of blood from the umbilical cord (2.5ml). The cord blood contains fetal blood cells which are used to analyze the chromosomes of the baby. If technically possible, a thin needle is passed through the maternal abdomen into the umbilical cord at the cord insertion site on the placenta (afterbirth). This 1-2 minute procedure is performed under ultrasound guidance and the needle can be visualized at all times.
NON INVASIVE PRENATAL TESTING (NIPT)
This Prenatal Test is an early and accurate screening test for Down's Syndrome and other trisomy conditions. For Down Syndrome the test is 99.8% sensitive, making it the most accurate screening test, to date. The test can also evaluate fetal sex and sex chromosome (X,Y) conditions. It can be done from 10 weeks gestation and is best done in conjunction with genetic counselling.