Article

Prenatal diagnosis--principles of diagnostic procedures and genetic counseling.

Department of Genetics, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland.
Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica (Impact Factor: 1.1). 02/2007; 45 Suppl 1:S11-6.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The frequency of inherited malformations as well as genetic disorders in newborns account for around 3-5%. These frequency is much higher in early stages of pregnancy, because serious malformations and genetic disorders usually lead to spontaneous abortion. Prenatal diagnosis allowed identification of malformations and/or some genetic syndromes in fetuses during the first trimester of pregnancy. Thereafter, taking into account the severity of the disorders the decision should be taken in regard of subsequent course of the pregnancy taking into account a possibilities of treatment, parent's acceptation of a handicapped child but also, in some cases the possibility of termination of the pregnancy. In prenatal testing, both screening and diagnostic procedures are included. Screening procedures such as first and second trimester biochemical and/or ultrasound screening, first trimester combined ultrasound/biochemical screening and integrated screening should be widely offered to pregnant women. However, interpretation of screening results requires awareness of both sensitivity and predictive value of these procedures. In prenatal diagnosis ultrasound/MRI searching as well as genetic procedures are offered to pregnant women. A variety of approaches for genetic prenatal analyses are now available, including preimplantation diagnosis, chorion villi sampling, amniocentesis, fetal blood sampling as well as promising experimental procedures (e.g. fetal cell and DNA isolation from maternal blood). An incredible progress in genetic methods opened new possibilities for valuable genetic diagnosis. Although karyotyping is widely accepted as golden standard, the discussion is ongoing throughout Europe concerning shifting to new genetic techniques which allow obtaining rapid results in prenatal diagnosis of aneuploidy (e.g. RAPID-FISH, MLPA, quantitative PCR).

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