This highly accurate screening test was introduced for Western Australian women in November 2012 by Western Ultrasound for Women. NIPT is a test which detects cell free fetal DNA in maternal serum. Using massively parallel sequencing technology and advanced genomics, the test is able to detect (with an accuracy of >99%) whether the fetus has Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome). The risks for Trisomy 13 (Patau’s Syndrome) and Trisomy 18 (Edward’s Syndrome) and sex chromosome anomalies can also be assessed. It is not performed in Western Australia at this stage and requires a blood sample from the mother being sent interstate.
The main advantage of this test is that it is non-invasive, and therefore, there is no chance of miscarriage and very little chance of infection.
We suggest an ultrasound prior to this test being performed. This is to ensure that the test is being performed at the right time of the pregnancy, and to diagnose multiple pregnancy.
The test involves (1) pre-test counselling and (2) a blood test.
You can have this test from 10 weeks‘ gestation.