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NIPT (reflex DNA) Tests Available Through your NHS Maternity Pathway

We are proud to announce that Liverpool Women’s Hospital is the first Trust outside of London to offer Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) (reflex DNA) through the NHS maternity pathway of care.
NIPT with the Combined screen enables for more accurate screening for Down’s Syndrome, Edward’s Syndrome and Patau’s Syndrome, than ever before.

If a woman chooses and is eligible for, 1st trimester screening, she will now have the combined screening as normal, which includes an NT scan and blood sample, plus further bloods - a reflex DNA sample, this is for the NIPT test.

So when is the NIPT (reflex DNA) blood sample used?

The NIPT sample is only used if the combined screening sample results are ‘high risk’ i.e there is more than 1 in 800 chance of their baby being affected by Downs, Edwards or Patous syndromes. The DNA sample is automatically reflexed to and will give a more accurate result of the screening.

Dr Devender Roberts, Clinical Director at Liverpool Women’s Hospital said “NIPT is a fantastic technological development which we’re delighted to now be able to offer to pregnant women across the North West, as part of the NHS Combined screen for Downs, Edwards & Patous syndromes for women between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. This is a simple test that measures fetal DNA from a pregnant woman’s blood to look for common chromosome abnormalities. It has been found to have a detection rate of greater than 99% for Down’s Syndrome, in comparison to the tests previously available, which have a detection rate of only 86%. It also has a much lower false positive rate than other tests which means if the result is negative it is highly unlikely that the baby has one of the chromosome abnormalities.”

This reflex DNA screening is not available to women who are less than 11 weeks or more than 14 weeks pregnant. Booking your first pregnancy appointment early, by 10 weeks, will ensure you can have the required screening before 14 weeks. To book your pregnancy appointment with Liverpool Women’s Hospital call 0151 247 4747 or complete an online booking form.

Please ask your midwife when booking into maternity care about this screening and please read your leaflets sent to you at home ‘The Reflex DNA Test’ (blue booklet), ‘The Combined Test’ (pink booklet) and the orange booklet for all antenatal & newborn screening ‘Screening tests for you and your baby’ also available online and in 13 different languages.

24 October 2017

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