The non-invasive prenatal test, or NIPT, is a new, highly sensitive test that screens for down syndrome and certain other abnormalities in a baby that is done in the first trimester of pregnancy.
What is the non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT)?
During pregnancy, some of the baby’s DNA passes into the mother’s bloodstream. The non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) analyses the genetic information in this DNA to screen for several abnormalities. The test is sensitive to down syndrome.
The NIPT involves a simple blood test and can be done from 10 weeks into the pregnancy.
What does it NIPT test for?
The NIPT is a safe and highly effective way of screening for conditions that include:
- Down syndrome (also called trisomy 21)
- Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18)
- Patau syndrome (trisomy 13)
- Turner syndrome
The NIPT test detects many chromosomal abnormalities, but not as many as a diagnostic test, such as amniocentesis. It cannot screen for genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, thalassaemia or sickle cell anaemia.
What to expect from your NIPT test results?
It can take up to 2 weeks to get the result of your NIPT. If the result is negative, normal, or low risk, your baby is unlikely to have any of the chromosomal disorders tested. If the result is positive, abnormal or high risk, this means your baby is likely to be affected.
If you have an abnormal NIPT result, a diagnostic test such as a CVS test or amniocentesis can confirm the result. You should discuss your options with your doctor, or genetic counsellor.
Why have an NIPT test?
The NIPT is highly sensitive and picks up over 99% of cases of down syndrome. But it is still a screening test rather than a diagnostic test. This means it can only tell you whether there is an increased risk of having a baby with an abnormality, rather than giving you a definitive answer.
NIPT Test Conditions
- 10-12hrs overnight fasting is NOT advised
- A doctor’s prescription may be needed
- The normal test results may vary depending on gender, age, health history, etc.
- Inform your doctor if you’ve been taking medicines or drugs, and he might ask you to stop. Certain medications can interact with your NIPT test result. Talk to your doctor.
- Home visit service facility available only for total test cost of above ₹999