Scientists have come up with a new noninvasive blood test that can accurately and efficiently detect the risk of Down syndrome in an unborn child.
Two new studies of the test, which may provide an alternative to amniocentesis and CVS (chorionic villous sampling), were reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
The test on maternal blood can determine, with a high degree of accuracy, the risk that a fetus has the chromosomal abnormalities that cause Down syndrome and a genetic disorder sometimes known as Edwards syndrome or Trisomy 18. Both procedures carry a risk of miscarriage.
Scientists at Aria Diagnostics in San Jose collaborated with scientists from the University of London to conduct the new research.
Dr. Kypros H. Nicolaides, of the University of London, predicted the testing will be introduced into clinical practice. "It would be useful as a secondary test contingent upon the results of a more universally applicable primary method of screening,” he said. “The extent to which it could be applied as a universal screening tool depends on whether the cost becomes comparable to that of current methods of sonographic and biochemical testing."