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J Ultrasound Med. 2002 Jan;21(1):5-13.

Genetic sonography: a cost-effective method for evaluating women 35 years and older who decline genetic amniocentesis.

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  • 1Perinatology Research Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether offering genetic sonography to patients who decline invasive testing can increase the detection rate of trisomy 21 and is cost-effective.

METHODS:

The detection rate of trisomy 21, the number of pregnancy losses after amniocentesis, and the cost of detecting a single fetus with trisomy 21 were determined in women 35 years and older managed according to the following 3 policies: (1) universal amniocentesis, (2) genetic counseling for maternal age-associated risks for trisomy 21 followed by amniocentesis in patients who elected it, and (3) genetic counseling followed by genetic sonography in patients who originally declined genetic amniocentesis.

RESULT:

From a population of 40,143 women 35 years and older, the expected number of trisomy 21 fetuses was 349. After genetic counseling, 32% of patients declined invasive testing, resulting in detection of 70% of fetuses with trisomy 21. For universal amniocentesis, the cost to detect 1 fetus with trisomy 21 was $138,036. For the 32% who declined invasive testing after genetic counseling and underwent genetic sonography, the cost to detect a single fetus with trisomy 21 was a function of sensitivity and the screen-positive rate. For screen-positive rates between 5% and 25%, genetic sonography resulted in a cost savings between 14.3% and 18.8% when compared with universal invasive testing and resulted in a considerable increase in detection of fetuses with trisomy 21 (77% to 97%).

CONCLUSIONS:

A policy of offering genetic sonography followed by amniocentesis to patients 35 years and older who originally decline invasive testing for the diagnosis of trisomy 21 is cost-effective and results in a higher overall detection rate for trisomy 21 without an increased risk of pregnancy loss.

PMID:
11794403
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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