Inverted Pyramid of Care

Clin Lab Med. 2016 Jun;36(2):305-17. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2016.01.009. Epub 2016 Mar 14.


First-trimester pregnancy evaluation using fetal and maternal parameters not only allows for diagnoses to be made early in gestation but can also assess the risk of complications that become clinically evident later in pregnancy. This evaluation makes it possible for pregnancy care to be individualized. In select cases, treatment that reduces the risk of complications can be started early in pregnancy. Even though cell free DNA is a significant advance in diagnosing fetal aneuploidy, the combination of first-trimester ultrasound and maternal serum biochemistries casts a much wider diagnostic net; therefore, the 2 technologies are best used in combination.

Keywords: Anomalies; Diagnosis; First trimester; Maternal complications; Preeclampsia; Screening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aneuploidy
  • Chromosome Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Fetal Development
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First*
  • Prenatal Care / methods*
  • Prenatal Care / trends
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / trends
  • Time Factors