Why the cell-free fetal DNA test is a game-changer

As a practicing OB/GYN, I feel lucky to be working in a field so full of promise and with space for advancement of medical technology. Although prospects of improved fetal imaging, cervical cancer prevention, and techniques of minimally invasive surgery are game-changing, new discoveries in the genetics arena of our field strike me as simply incredible.

Prenatal genetic testing has only been reasonably available to mothers since about 1970, and at that time was limited to invasive testing using amniocentesis, which carried significant risks. Although “amnio” still has a place in obstetrics, the availability of bedside ultrasound has improved the safety profile greatly.

Following amniocentesis, the need for a procedure which allowed for evaluation at an earlier gestational age pushed us forward and helped bring chorionic villus sampling (CVS) to the forefront of obstetrics care in the 80s.

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