A new non-invasive test to detect Down’s syndrome is to go on trial in two hospitals in London and Kent.
Image courtesy of / Wikimedia Commons
The test will take place during the first trimester of pregnancy and analyses a baby’s DNA present in its mother’s blood. Down’s syndrome is a chromosomal disorder characterised by an additional chromosome. The Harris Birthright Centre at King’s College London is the first to look at the feasibility of screening for chromosomal abnormalities using foetal cell free DNA from a pregnant women’s blood.
The test costs £400 so is not going to be rolled out across the NHS at this stage but will be offered free of charge to those participating in the trials at Kings College Hospital in London and Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent.