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The Harmony Test
The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is offered from 10 weeks gestation and is provided by Ariosa Diagnostics, and is known at the Harmony Test.  NIPT is the most accurate way of estimated the risk of a baby having Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edward’s syndrome (Trisomy 18) or Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13).

NIPT differs from traditional screening for chromosome abnormalities, such as, the Combined Test and the Quadruple Test because it analyses the baby’s DNA rather than ultrasounds features and/or hormone levels in the blood.  This means NIPT is more accurate than these traditional tests for estimating the risk of a baby being affected by Down, Edward’s or Patau syndrome.

How does NIPT work?

DNA is the genetic material found in every cell in our body. Cell free DNA is genetic material, which originates from the baby but can be detected in the mother’s blood.

The exact mechanism as to how the baby’s DNA  finds its way into the mother’s blood stream is not clear but scientists have discovered the cell free DNA is present from early pregnancy and is undetectable 2 hours after the baby is born.

The Harmony Test works by analyzing DNA fragments in the mother’s blood.  Each chromosome has sequences of DNA that are specific to that particular chromosome. Therefore by analyzing and counting all the DNA sequences that map to chromosomes 21, 18 and 13, it can be assessed whether there is a normal amount of sequences matching to each chromosome. If the baby had Down syndrome, there will be slightly more sequences that map to chromosome 21 than expected, indicating that there is more chromosome 21 present than normal.  The same would apply for chromosome 18 and 13. This allows very accurate prediction of pregnancies where the baby is likely to have Down, Edward’s or Patau Syndrome.

The Consulting Suite
The Portland Hospital
212 Great Portland Street
London W1W 5QN

020 7390 8079
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