Safer prenatal screening methods, improved fetal diagnostics and better risk assessment tools for inherited genetic disorders or birth defects are the result of today’s advances in genomics and maternal fetal medicine. Our maternal-fetal specialists have always been at the forefront of pioneering more effective genetic screening approaches for expectant families. Many times our team of physicians and genetic counselors make cutting-edge prenatal tests the standard of care at NorthShore long before other health systems. Some options for genetic testing during pregnancy:
- Cell-free Fetal DNA Testing for the detection of Down syndrome (trisomy 21). Requiring only a small sample of maternal blood, this genetic test poses very little risk for either the patient or her unborn child. For many pregnant women, this new diagnostic tool takes the place of more invasive procedures such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.
- Chromosomal Microarray Testing for a more comprehensive look at DNA deletions and duplications in a fetus’ genetic coding that could lead to a wide array disorders. These fine yet crucial genetic details are not usually captured with traditional karyotyping, the standard chromosome testing method for prenatal screening. Microarray analysis provides more precise answers to clinically observed fetal abnormalities as well as possible causes of pregnancy losses or miscarriages.
Along with expert prenatal genetic counseling, these innovations in genetic testing during pregnancy allow our maternal fetal medicine specialists to provide our patients with highly individualized care and knowledge they can use to make informed choices for current and future pregnancies.