Today, along with the development of modern science and technology, prenatal screening has a very important meaning and is essential for couples. Among them, NIPT is the most commonly used non-invasive prenatal screening test. If you are also interested, do not ignore the information shared in the article below.
What Is The NIPT Test?
NIPT – the English acronym for "non – invasive prenatal test", is a test that helps assess the risk of the fetus with certain genetic syndromes. This test analyzes small pieces of fetal DNA that are released and move freely in the pregnant's bloodstream.
The special thing is that these DNA fragments are not located in the cells, but float freely so it is also known as cell-less DNA or free DNA (cfDNA). Since this method only draws blood from a pregnant woman, it does not cause any non-invasive effects, effects, or danger to the fetus.
Is The NIPT Test Correct?
The NIPT test is a modern method with many outstanding advantages, but determining accuracy has to be based on many different factors. Like other tests, the accuracy of the NIPT depends on: the machinery, the analytical technique, the execution process, and the technical expertise of the technician …
However, you should not be too concerned because studies have shown that the NIPT test is up to 99.98% accurate if the sampling, storage, and analysis are done properly.
The NIPT test is only a prenatal screening test, so it only helps pregnant mothers detect any abnormalities if any. This method does not give a definitive answer about whether the fetus has a genetic disease or not.
Based on the test results, if there are abnormalities, the doctor can consider whether or not to perform amniocentesis and placenta biopsy to confirm and diagnose the disease.
Studies show that the NIPT test analyzes both the fetal and maternal cfDNA, so it can also detect the mother's genetic status. For the test to be accurate, there must be enough cfDNA from the fetus in the mother's blood.
If the rate of free fetal DNA in the mother's blood is low, it may lead to an inability to perform the test or false-negative results. So how many weeks of NIPT test to get the most accurate results is also a question of concern for many pregnant mothers.
From the first few weeks of pregnancy, a certain amount of fetal DNA is released and moved through the mother's bloodstream. However, it is not until 10 weeks that the fetal's cfDNA rate is stable for testing.
Pregnant mothers should consider choosing medical facilities, large and reputable hospitals with experience and a team of specialist medical doctors to be tested most accurately and safely.
NIPT testing is done from the 10th week of pregnancy until the end of pregnancy. Pregnant mothers do not need to abstain from or fast before conducting the test. To achieve the most accurate results, the procedures must ensure strict, free of sample confusion, sample contamination, and follow every step.
Step 1: Advice on method
Counseling on NIPT testing helps pregnant mothers understand the benefits of prenatal screening for their babies. Thereby, it helps to evaluate the risk of the fetus having congenital malformations due to chromosomal abnormalities or not.
Moreover, this method has many advantages over ultrasound, Double Test, or Triple Test methods, amniocentesis.
- Ultrasound: The nape of the neck is measured between 11-14 weeks of gestation to detect the risk of birth defects in the fetus. Or it is possible to detect other defects such as fetal infarction, abdominal wall gap, external morphological defects of the fetus …
- Double Test, Triple Test: Double test is done between 12 and 13 weeks of pregnancy after the fetus has been ultrasound for high-risk results. If the Double test results show a high risk, the doctor will advise performing a Triple test to confirm the results for accuracy. In the event that both the Double test and Triple test show the same results, the doctor will advise the pregnant woman to have an amniocentesis to confirm the development of the fetus for the last time.
- Amniocentesis: Amniocentesis is accurate to 99.99%. However, there are potential risks such as amniotic fluid, amniotic fluid infection leading to fetal infection.
Step 2: Sampling
A blood sample was taken from the mother's hand vein. Technicians use vacuum needles to collect blood samples to ensure enough blood to perform the test. Moreover, it is necessary to ensure sterility and safety for pregnant mothers during the blood draw.
Step 3: Get the NIPT test
Blood samples from mothers are conducted to separate the free DNA of the fetus. The free DNA sequence of the fetus is then explained for chromosomal abnormalities.
Step 4: Counseling and returning results
Counseling results help pregnant mothers and families understand the real health of the fetus. In the case of a healthy and normal fetus, the doctor will advise and explain to the pregnant woman to continue to check and monitor the pregnancy in the following months. In the event that the screening results are abnormal, the doctor will advise the pregnant woman on special care directions for the fetus that is most suitable for the condition of the mother and baby
- Interpret the screening results.
- Guide pregnant mothers and families to choose the most suitable method of pregnancy care.
- Advice on health status.
In this fourth step, how to read the nipt test results is extremely important. Usually, when performing the test, the pregnant mother will receive the results after a few days depending on the establishment.
- In case the result is completely normal: on the result, sheet writes the answer "Negative: no aneuploidy detected" on chromosome 21,18,13; Sex chromosomes along with other chromosomes, … However, pregnant mothers should not be subjective when the test results are negative. Because that doesn't mean the fetus is 100% healthy. NIPT only assists in detecting chromosomal abnormalities, while the health of the fetus is dependent on many factors that the NIPT test may not detect.
- In case the result is abnormal: the report will say "chromosome aneuploidy".
- There are other possibilities that may be encountered in the detection of rare diseases in the fetus. At that time, the doctor will ask the pregnant woman to come and return the results directly along with consulting, giving advice, and the most suitable solutions.
Where Is The NIPT Test?
Where to get the NIPT test, how much does the NIPT test cost, is a common question that many pregnant women wonder about. In recent years, the demand for prenatal screening and examination by clients has increased, so the number of testing facilities has also grown so much. However, pregnant mothers should also pay attention to some of the following factors to choose the best place for NIPT testing, best suited to their needs.
It is recommended to choose reputable and quality medical examination and treatment facilities with strengths in the field of genetics. Medical facilities have a team of leading doctors, experts, experienced, enthusiastic and dedicated.
- Good customer service from consultation to visit and when customers need support.
- The facilities have a full range of modern equipment with advanced technology and strict compliance procedures to ensure the accuracy of the test.
- The laboratory is airy, clean, and spacious.
- Get results with high accuracy quickly.
- Support to get and return results at home for customers in need.
- Ensure confidentiality of customer information.
And equally important, the cost is reasonable. Based on your own abilities, you should choose for yourself the most suitable test package.
Hopefully, with the above sharing, you will have more useful knowledge about NIPT testing methods. If there are any concerns or not properly explained, please do not hesitate to share them with us.
The site cannot and does not contain medical advice. The medical information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information. We encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals.