Any pregnant woman who has been advised by her antenatal team (midwives, GPs and consultants) to undertake amniocentesis will benefit from Amnio-PCR.
Physicians are currently able to predict the risk of having a child with Down syndrome from non-invasive procedures such as ultrasound and maternal blood screening.
This risk assessment will be expressed in terms of the likelihood of the baby suffering from a particular birth defect. In many obstetric departments, if the risk factor for Down syndrome is 1 in 250 or less, or if the mother is over 35 years old, an amniocentesis test is offered. The current, most commonly used method to analyse amniocentesis results is to culture (grow) the cells obtained from the amniotic fluid. The disadvantage of this conventional method is the time taken for the cells to grow, which means a delay of up to three weeks before a result is obtained.
Amnio-PCR uses DNA directly from the fetal cells and provides an
answer on average within 24hours of receipt of the sample in the
laboratory, reducing the waiting time for the
expectant mother and her family.