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Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

Genetic Testing in Pregnancy

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Updated June 03, 2014

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Why the test is done:

This test can be used to determine if your baby has a chromosomal disorder.

How the test is done:

A small needle/catheter is placed either through the abdomen or through the vagina near the uterus to collect a small sample of villi. Ultrasound is used to guide the needle/catheter away from the baby and the placenta.

When the test is done:

Genetic disorders testing can be done as early as 8 weeks.

How the results are given:

Depends on the results. Usually the genetic defect is identified or a normal baby is identified, including gender.

Risks involved:

There was a 3-5% miscarriage rate associated with this test, though recent studies are saying that the risk of CVS is more in line with the 1-2% from amniocentesis. This may vary by practitioner, mainly due to experience levels. There are also some studies that suggest that there may be a slight increase in the number of limb deformities from amniotic banding syndrome.

Alternatives:

Amniocentesis

Where do you go from here?

Genetic disorders that are detected will be referred to the genetic counselor for further counseling and decision making.

Other Resources:

Related Video
How Does Chorionic Villus Sampling Work?
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  6. Genetic Testing - What is Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)?

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