What are the prerequisites for having an amniocentesis done? The following women can be referred for amniocentesis: over 36 years…Read more
The following women can be referred for amniocentesis:
There are no absolute contraindications for amniocentesis.
Low risk pregnancy with risk of spontaneous abortion far outweighing the risk of a chromosomal abnormality.
Patients on heparin need to have this stopped before the test is performed.
There are three main risks which will be fully explained when the patient signs the consent form:
While amniocentesis is able to identify Down syndrome and genetic or inherited disorders, it needs to be noted that there are some chromosomal disorders for which there are no tests currently available.
Nuchal translucency in the first trimester is an ultrasound scan when, combined with maternal age and maternal serum levels of pregnancy hormones, can give us a risk ratio of the likelihood of Downs syndrome, trisomy 18 and trisomy 13. This is a statistical evaluation only and cannot definitively tell us an answer. It is only 85% accurate.
Chorionic villous sampling is done slightly earlier than amniocentesis and can examine the foetal DNA, which does not occur with amniocentesis. However, the risk of miscarriage is about 1% which is 2 -3 times higher than amniocentesis (see Chorionic Villous Sampling).
Page last modified on 29/3/2017.
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