What is non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT)?
It has been discovered that a simple blood sample from the mother at any time from 10 weeks of pregnancy can be analysed for cell free fetal DNA, which is essentially a marker in the mother’s blood of the DNA of the baby. This has come to be known as ‘non-invasive prenatal testing’ (NIPT).
Although NIPT is not diagnostic, large scale studies have shown the test has a detection rate of more than 99.9% for Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21); 98% with Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau’s syndrome (Trisomy 13) and 95% for Turner syndrome. This is great news as it reduces the need for invasive testing such as CVS or amniocentesis and the associated risk of miscarriage.
An ultrasound scan in performed just before the test to confirm the pregnancy and to check if there are twins or more.
Who can have NIPT?
NIPT can be carried out for most pregnancies including IVF, singleton and twins. I can be performed on women who have conceived via assisted reproductive technology including the use of a donor egg.
How is the test done?
- An ultrasound scan is undertaken first
- A sample of your blood is drawn and the genetic material is tested. There is no risk from having the test
- One Tube needs to be fully filled
- The sample is then immediately packaged and sent to our Laboratory in the UK
How much does it cost?
The test is currently £450 including the ultrasound scan.