A new maternal blood test is being perfected to help pregnant women avoid invasive procedures for diagnosing Down Syndrome. The new test uses the mother's blood and looks for the baby's DNA in the blood and then screens for Down Syndrome.
Currently Down Syndrome testing has about a 5% false positive rate, meaning 5% of mothers are told that their baby has Down Syndrome when the baby does not. These women are then offered an amniocentesis or chroionic villus sampling (CVS), which each carry about a 1% risk of miscarriage. Researchers say that the new test is expensive and is not ready for universal screening at this point. But it can reduce the number of mothers referred for the more invasive and risky tests by 98% when screening the women at a high risk for Down Syndrome.
So the new proposal would be, everyone does the more common AFP screening. If that test is positive, then you would have this more advanced maternal blood test and only then would you be referred for invasive testing.
- Down Syndrome
- Nuchal Fold Test (1st Trimester Ultrasound)
- AFP, Triple, Quad and Penta Screens
- Readers Share: Your Experience with AFP
- Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
- Prenatal Testing