Analysis of Amniotic Fluid

Amniocentesis is an invasive prenatal diagnostic test performed at around 16 weeks of pregnancy. By completing amniocentesis, your fetus may be tested for chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, or, if there is an indicative family history, for genetic disease. The amniocentesis involves passing a needle through the abdominal skin of the mother, through the wall of the uterus (womb) and taking a small sample of the fluid surrounding the fetus, called amniotic fluid.

Viafet is able to complete 24-chromosome aneuploidy screening, screening for single gene disorders or both through amniotic fluid sample. Turn around time is 7 calendar days, allowing time for you and your physician to review your results and make the best decision for the care of you and your baby. Your report will state if you are at at low or high risk of carrying a fetus with chromosomal abnormality due to aneuploidy and or genetic disease, based on the requested test. A low risk test result makes it less likely that a fetus has a chromosomal abnormality or inherited condition but all genetic conditions cannot be ruled out. You may also want to discuss with your physician the option of completing a non-invasive test at 10 weeks of pregnancy. With locations in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Australia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and more locations coming soon, Viafet's services are available to a wide network of clinicians and patients.

Is Amniocentesis right for me?

Based on committee opinion, amniocentesis is generally recommended in pregnancy in one of the following cases:

  • Maternal age of 35 years or older
  • After receiving an abnormal prenatal screening test result, such as the first trimester screening, maternal serum testing, or non-invasive prenatal test)
  • For women who previously had a child or pregnancy with a chromosomal abnormality or defect
  • For women who have a known hereditary condition that may put the child at risk of genetic disease (autosomal dominant X-linked or mitochondrial mutation)
  • One parent has an inherited disorder or both parents are known carriers of an inherited disorder

Amniocentesis is safe and has been performed for many years. However, it is an invasive procedure that poses a slight rise of injury to the fetus and of miscarriage. For this reason, amniocentesis is not performed routinely with each pregnancy. Viafet advises you to make the decision on performing an amniocentesis together with your physician. If you have questions related to genetic testing, contact Viafet today to schedule a consultation with a genetic counselor.

What will I learn from amniotic fluid analysis?

Depending on your medical history and needs, genetic analysis of Amniotic Fluid can provide you with information on the chromosomal and/or genetic health of you fetus.

Chromosomal Health:

Chromosomal analysis of amniotic fluid through a technique called array-CGH allows for the chromosomal analysis of aneuploidy , additional or missing chromosomes , in all 24 chromosomes of the fetus through DNA analysis. Array-CGH has advantages over other methods in that it does not require the culturing of any cells in the laboratory, allowing for a faster turn-around-time and larger depth of information to be retrieved from the sample. Examples of the chromosomal abnormalities that may be detected through this method include:

  • Down syndrome (Trisomy 21)
  • Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18)
  • Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13)
  • Klinefelter's syndrome
  • Turner syndrome

The gender of the fetus may also be identified. Results obtained through Array-CGH testing are >99% accurate.

Genetic Health:

Genetic testing to identify genetic disease through amniotic fluid looks at the foetal DNA to identify specific gene mutations in order to diagnose an inherited disease. Based on the family history of mother and father, any genetic disease with a known mutation may be identified through the genetic analysis of the fetus through the amniotic fluid. Some examples of inherited disorders that may be diagnosed through amniotic fluid include:

  • Thalassemia
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Tay-Sachs disease
  • Canavan disease
  • Sickle cell anaemia

If requested, it is possible to test the sample for both chromosomal abnormality due to aneuploidy and inherited disease. Results are >99% accurate.

Maternal Cell Contamination

There is a chance that the sample collected during amniocentesis will be of maternal origin rather than the fetus - this is called Maternal Cell Contamination. For this reason, a maternal blood sample will separately be collected in order to rule out contamination. Through the method utilized by Viafet Genomics Laboratory, your report will indicate what percentage, if any, of the sample provided belonged to the mother. In order to reduce the chances of having to complete a resampling and to increase the accuracy of the result, Viafet identifies and analyzes foetal cells using a technique proven to reduce the chance of maternal cell contamination.

Where can I get testing?

Talk to your Obstetrician about Amniocentesis and if it right for you. If your physician does not yet offer Viafet testing, please suggest that they contact us - testing can get started immediately. If your physician is already offering Viafet testing, all coordination for your case will be completed between your medical center and Viafet's team.

With locations in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Australia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and more locations coming soon, Viafet's services are available to a wide network of clinicians and patients. If at any time during your journey you have questions or would like to speak with a Genetic Counselor, contact Viafet and we will schedule an appointment immediately.