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Cell-free Fetal DNA Test Offers Alternative to Amniocentesis

New blood test now available at Children's Hospital Central California

2/25/2013 

Perinatologists at the Maternal Fetal Center  at Children's Hospital Central California became the first in the region to offer a new blood test for expectant moms. Given at 10 to 20 weeks’ gestation, the cell-free fetal DNA test identifies the chromosomal abnormalities known as trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edward syndrome) and trisomy 13 (Pateau syndrome). 
 
“The cell-free fetal DNA test can be given earlier in the pregnancy and with a much lower risk than amniocentesis,” said Dr. Armando Fuentes, medical director, perinatology, Children’s Hospital. “It’s a noninvasive test that detects Down syndrome with a 98.9 percent rate of accuracy.”

The Maternal Fetal Center offers the new test to high-risk moms who will be at least 35 years old at the time of delivery, had a prior pregnancy with chromosomal abnormalities or received a positive result on their maternal serum screening test.