New safer, more accurate test for Down’s Syndrome launched

Date: 16 April 2015

Time: 01:00

The new test, known as the NIPT (non-invasive prenatal test), involves a simple blood test from the mother. It is based on the relatively recent knowledge that a developing fetus’ DNA circulates in its mother’s blood, so some aspects of the baby’s genetic profile can be screened directly from the blood sample.

The NIPT offers women an accuracy rate of about 99% in detecting Down’s Syndrome in a fetus, compared to 84-90% with the conventional ‘combined test’ offered on the NHS, which involves an ultrasound scan and blood test.

  • Summary:
    A new non-invasive prenatal test for Down’s Syndrome has been launched by Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). The test has been trialled as part of a larger NIHR Programme Grants-funded study with support from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at GOSH.
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