Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Radiol Clin North Am. 2003 Jul;41(4):695-708.

Prenatal diagnosis for detection of aneuploidy: the options.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiology, Columbia University, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Milstein Hospital Building 4-156, 177 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY 10032, USA.


The value of all noninvasive prenatal tests must be viewed with the perspective of the consequences of invasive testing. Regarding second trimester noninvasive testing, biochemical screening is more accurate in establishing risk than maternal age alone. One or more major ultrasound abnormalities, nuchal thickening, or a shortened humerus should raise concern for Down syndrome regardless of the patient's a priori risk based on age or biochemical markers. Isolated minor ultrasound markers should not be used in calculating risk in low-risk patients regarding Down syndrome unless the biochemical profile already places the patient at risk or in a borderline risk zone. If the ultrasound finding is hyperechoic bowel, problems other than aneuploidy may be the cause, including cystic fibrosis, infection, or hemorrhage, and these problems must be considered if hyperechoic bowel is an isolated finding. Improved risk adjustment seems to be applicable to a priori high-risk patients with completely normal sonograms. Genetic sonograms with specific risk adjustment schemata may be used to adjust a priori risk (either maternal age or biochemical screening results) at centers in which this has proven to be accurate, but whether this is statistically sound remains to be determined. The goal of second trimester ultrasound screening is to identify at-risk fetuses better and offer invasive testing to a more select group of patients. As the value of first trimester screening becomes more evident and practical, and if the risk of chorionic villus sampling becomes an acceptable norm, the patient population that reaches the second trimester of pregnancy will be select. Therefore, we can anticipate that second trimester screening and invasive testing may be needed only in a minority of cases, and the practice standards of prenatal testing and sonography (including minor ultrasound markers) will change entirely.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk