The use of non-invasive prenatal screening tests is increasing year by year. So there are also concerns about the lack of understanding of these techniques, both by doctors and patients. For this reason, The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine has published an explanatory article on it. The goal is to provide doctors who follow the magazine all the information needed to reassure even the most anxious patients.
Thanks to a drop of maternal blood, a non-invasive prenatal screening test allows you to identify common genetic abnormalities. Down's syndrome and others are diagnostically diagnosed in the uterus without risk for either the mother or the baby. At first the test was recommended especially for high-risk pregnancies. More and more studies, however, show its utility in low-risk pregnancies.
In 2016, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists renewed their guidelines. She now recommends that fetal DNA tests be tested on all women who are on hold, regardless of age. Despite its success, however, this technology is still not very well understood.
In the article, a team of experts from the University of Washington in Seattle explains how doctors should face the tests. Still too few people understand that non-invasive prenatal screening is just one element of diagnosis. If a negative result gives assurance that the fetus is healthy, it is not mathematical the opposite. If the test is successful, it is best to proceed with further analysis that confirms or deny the first result.
The authors also warn of the use of rare genetic testing. In these cases, it is best to proceed with caution. There are indeed many less studies on the effectiveness of these tests, rather than those applied to Down or Evans syndrome.