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Prenatal Diagnosis of Chromosome Abnormalities: A 13-Year Institution Experience

Author(s): Carmen Comas | Mónica Echevarria | María Ángeles Rodríguez | Ignacio Rodríguez | Bernat Serra | Vincenzo Cirigliano

Journal: Diagnostics
ISSN 2075-4418

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 57;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: screening | prenatal invasive test | chromosome abnormality | down syndrome

Objective: To analyze trends in screening and invasive prenatal diagnosis of chromosome abnormalities (CA) over a 13-year period and correlate them to changes in the national prenatal screening policy. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed Down syndrome (DS) screening tests and fetal karyotypes obtained by prenatal invasive testing (IT) in our fetal medicine unit between January 1999 and December 2011. Results: A total of 24,226 prenatal screening tests for DS and 11,045 invasive procedures have been analyzed. Over a 13-year period, utilization of non-invasive screening methods has significantly increased from 57% to 89%. The percentage of invasive procedures has declined from 49% to 12%, although the percentage of IT performed for maternal anxiety has increased from 22% to 55%. The percentage of detected CA increased from 2.5% to 5.9%. Overall, 31 invasive procedures are needed to diagnose 1 abnormal case, being 23 procedures in medical indications and 241 procedures in non-medical indications. Conclusions: Our experience on screening and invasive prenatal diagnostic practice shows a decrease of the number of IT, with a parallel decline in medical indications. There is an increasing efficiency of prenatal screening program to detect CA. Despite the increasing screening policies, our population shows a growing request for prenatal IT. The a priori low risk population shows a not negligible residual risk for relevant CA. This observation challenges the current prenatal screening strategy focused on DS; showing that the residual risk is higher than the current cut-off used to indicate an invasive technique.
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