Blood test for Down’s syndrome is safe and effective, say researchers

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 08 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3126
  1. Mathew Limb
  1. 1London

UK researchers are calling for non-invasive prenatal testing for Down’s syndrome to be introduced widely in the NHS on the basis of new study findings.

The results of an analysis carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London—whose laboratory is the first in the NHS to provide such testing—showed that it was safe, effective, and welcomed by parents, the researchers said.

Non-invasive testing checks maternal blood for fetal DNA indicative of Down’s syndrome and avoids the need for amniocentesis in most women.

Lyn Chitty, the lead researcher and professor of genetics and fetal medicine at Great Ormond Street, said that making the “more accurate” new test available on the NHS would reduce the amount of invasive testing, reduce numbers of miscarriages, and detect more cases of Down’s …

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