Advanced prenatal tests detect disorders in fetuses early

[WCCO-TV, June 09, 2013] New prenatal genetic tests are making results more accurate and possible earlier in pregnancies, especially important to some older couples who have a slightly higher risk of a baby with chromosomal abnormalities.

Right now, there are four tests on the market. Each of them tell the risk of a fetus having extra 13, 18 or 21 chromosomes. An extra 21 chromosome is the cause of Down syndrome, and babies with Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18 have a number of birth defects and quite often don’t live past the age of one.

“It’s sort of been on the horizon for a while and people are excited about it,” said Beth Hall, the lead genetic counselor at Minnesota Perinatal Physicians. She helps parents-to-be decide if this non-invasive prenatal testing is right for them.

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