New prenatal test 'could aid early detection of genetic disorders'

4 November 2016

A noninvasive prenatal genetic test has been developed that could allow genetic disorders to be detected in unborn children at an earlier stage than is currently possible.

Created by Wayne State University School of Medicine scientists, the new trophoblast retrieval and isolation from the cervix (TRIC) test offers the same accuracy of more invasive tests such as needle-directed amniocentesis, but can be utilised five to ten weeks earlier.

The method analyses hundreds of foetal cells that migrate from the placenta into the uterus using a retrieval technique similar to the Pap smear method, gauging the levels of certain key proteins to identify pregnancies at risk of complications.

Potentially, this approach could be used to predict a risk of miscarriage, undersized foetal growth or preeclampsia as early as five weeks into a pregnancy.

Dr Randall Armant, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Wayne State University School of Medicine, said: "Such a test could help physicians to better manage the health of mother and baby, and would streamline research on new interventions to prevent or limit the effects of disease."

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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