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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


MNYANI, C N; NICOLAOU, E  and  BISTER, S. The value and role of non-invasive prenatal testing in a select South African population. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2016, vol.106, n.10, pp.1047-1050. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND. Concerns have been raised about the injudicious use of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) using cell-free DNA (cfDNA), which often leads to inaccuracies in interpretation of the role and value of cfDNA in prenatal screening. OBJECTIVE. To determine the value and role of NIPT in a select South African (SA) population. METHODS. A retrospective review of patients who elected to have NIPT between 1 October 2013 and 30 June 2015 at the Morningside Mediclinic Maternal and Fetal Medicine Centre in Johannesburg, SA. Patients had NIPT after either combined first-trimester screening (CFTS) or a second-trimester ultrasound scan. Data were collected on details of the first- and/or second-trimester screening, results of the NIPT, invasive tests done, decisions made in the event of abnormal results, and pregnancy outcomes. RESULTS. Overall, 3 473 first- and second-trimester fetal assessments were done at the centre during the study period, and 2.3% of patients (n=82) elected to have NIPT. The majority of these individuals elected to have NIPT on the basis of positive findings on CFTS, or markers of aneuploidy detected on a second-trimester ultrasound scan. Of the tests done, 97.6% produced results. Of those with no results, one did not meet quality metrics and the other had a low fetal fraction of cfDNA. There were two abnormal NIPT results, one indicating a high risk of trisomy 13 and the other a triploidy. Patients who screened negative elected not to have an invasive test. CONCLUSION. The value of NIPT in this study was that it made it possible to avoid a number of invasive tests. NIPT had a role in contingency screening.

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