Noninvasive prenatal screening for fetal aneuploidy, 2016 update: a position statement of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics

Genet Med. 2016 Oct;18(10):1056-65. doi: 10.1038/gim.2016.97. Epub 2016 Jul 28.


This statement is designed primarily as an educational resource for clinicians to help them provide quality medical services. Adherence to this statement is completely voluntary and does not necessarily assure a successful medical outcome. This statement should not be considered inclusive of all proper procedures and tests or exclusive of other procedures and tests that are reasonably directed toward obtaining the same results. In determining the propriety of any specific procedure or test, the clinician should apply his or her own professional judgment to the specific clinical circumstances presented by the individual patient or specimen. Clinicians are encouraged to document the reasons for the use of a particular procedure or test, whether or not it is in conformance with this statement. Clinicians also are advised to take notice of the date this statement was adopted and to consider other medical and scientific information that becomes available after that date. It also would be prudent to consider whether intellectual property interests may restrict the performance of certain tests and other procedures.Noninvasive prenatal screening using cell-free DNA (NIPS) has been rapidly integrated into prenatal care since the initial American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) statement in 2013. New evidence strongly suggests that NIPS can replace conventional screening for Patau, Edwards, and Down syndromes across the maternal age spectrum, for a continuum of gestational age beginning at 9-10 weeks, and for patients who are not significantly obese. This statement sets forth a new framework for NIPS that is supported by information from validation and clinical utility studies. Pretest counseling for NIPS remains crucial; however, it needs to go beyond discussions of Patau, Edwards, and Down syndromes. The use of NIPS to include sex chromosome aneuploidy screening and screening for selected copy-number variants (CNVs) is becoming commonplace because there are no other screening options to identify these conditions. Providers should have a more thorough understanding of patient preferences and be able to educate about the current drawbacks of NIPS across the prenatal screening spectrum. Laboratories are encouraged to meet the needs of providers and their patients by delivering meaningful screening reports and to engage in education. With health-care-provider guidance, the patient should be able to make an educated decision about the current use of NIPS and the ramifications of a positive, negative, or no-call result.Genet Med 18 10, 1056-1065.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aneuploidy*
  • Female
  • Fetus / pathology
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genetics, Medical*
  • Genomics
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Maternal Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / trends*
  • United States