Non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS) involves the analysis of foetal DNA circulating in the mother's blood. It is mainly used for the pre-natal screening of trisomies 21, 13 and 18 as well as sex chromosomes. However, scientists are requesting authorisation to extend this screening to all chromosomes. Other rarer trisomies could be detected. For instance, trisomies 7, 15, 16 and 22 are associated "with serious health problems" during pregnancy. These trisomies sometimes affect only placenta as opposed to foetal cells and could impact upon normal growth during pregnancy, triggering early miscarriage in particular. A recent American-Australian study has shown that, "extending the analysis to all chromosomes may identify the risk of serious complications and reduce the false-positive results" of NIPS. Companies marketing NIPS are already offering extended tests.
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Bionews, Rachel Huddart (4/09/2017)