Obstetrician and Gynecologist Utilization of the Noninvasive Prenatal Testing Expanded Option

AJP Rep. 2016 Mar;6(1):e18-24. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1566313. Epub 2015 Oct 29.


Objective Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) enables the detection of common fetal aneuploidies such as trisomy 21, trisomy 18, trisomy 13, and sex chromosome abnormalities via analysis of cell-free fetal DNA circulating in maternal serum. In October 2013, the option to screen for additional trisomies and select microdeletion syndromes became clinically available. The complex testing methods, oftentimes unclear clinical utility of results, and lack of professional guidelines renders it challenging for clinicians to keep abreast of evolving prenatal screening options. We undertook a survey to assess physicians' awareness of, utilization of, and attitudes toward the expanded NIPT option. Study Design Obstetricians attending hospital service meetings in the Houston Texas Medical Center completed an anonymous survey regarding the utilization patterns of expanded NIPT. Results Overall, 85 obstetricians were surveyed. While all respondents indicated awareness of NIPT in its traditional form, 75% (64/85) were aware of the expanded testing option, and 14% (12/85) reported having ordered the expanded NIPT option. A total of 91% (77/85) expressed that practitioners need more information regarding the screening. Conclusion Based on these findings and the fluid landscape of prenatal screening, education, and reeducation of health care professionals is imperative to ensure responsible patient counseling, informed consent, and appropriate posttest management.

Keywords: microdeletion; noninvasive prenatal testing; prenatal screen.

Publication types

  • Case Reports