The Pros and Cons of Noninvasive Prenatal Screening

Noninvasive prenatal screening, using cell-free fetal DNA circulating in maternal blood, offers an early method of detecting certain fetal chromosomal abnormalities. As a new technology, many uncertainties exist about the place of noninvasive prenatal screening in the management of pregnancy, and it will take time for guidelines and recommendations on the use of this type of screening to be formulated and disseminated. In the meantime, these tests have made so many headlines that clinicians must be ready with answers when women come in to the office asking for the test.

Medscape spoke with Susan Klugman, MD, Director of Reproductive Genetics at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, about what clinicians need to know about nonvinasive prenatal screening.

Medscape: How does noninvasive genetic testing fit in with existing prenatal tests for chromosomal aneuploidies?

Dr. Klugman: The field of prenatal genetic testing is evolving exponentially. There are genetic tests and genetic screens, and the difference between them is very important for both the clinician and the patient to understand. Read more.