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How long does it take to get the results of a NIPT test?

By MomMed | 19 October 2022 | 0 Comments



NIPT, the non-invasive prenatal test, is carried out in the first trimester and checks for Down syndrome and a few other disorders in a baby.
 

What is NIPT?

The majority of bodily cells contain DNA, which is also present in your blood. A tiny portion of the DNA in your blood during pregnancy originates from the placenta.

Pregnancies that appear to have a variation in the amount of fetal DNA can be identified with specialized blood tests like NIPT. This informs you of the potential for specific birth abnormalities in your child.

 
The non-invasive prenatal test examines the genetic data present in this DNA to check for various anomalies. The test has a high sensitivity to Down syndrome. A straightforward blood test in the NIPT can be performed as early as week 10 of pregnancy.

 

How does NIPT work?

The test looks for the fragments of placental DNA that circulate in your blood. The placenta and your child share the same genetic makeup since they both develop from the same fertilized egg. Each piece of DNA can be used to identify the chromosome it originates from. If the chromosome consists of more material, then it means that there is an extra copy.
 
Although there are 23 pairs of chromosomes in humans, there may occasionally be an extra copy of a particular chromosome. When this occurs, it may result in defects like Down syndrome.

The non-invasive prenatal test has a high accuracy rate for detecting additional copies of the chromosomes and can inform you whether your baby is likely to have defects or not.

 

What does NIPT detect?

 •  For common chromosomal disorders like Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and trisomy 13, NIPT can determine whether your pregnancy is at high risk or not.

  NIPT will also check for sex chromosomal disorders if you aren't expecting twins.

 • ​​​​​​​ It can also predict fetal sex.

 

How to interpret the result?

When you have a high-risk result, it signifies that the predicted amount of DNA appears to be different. This could be a result of the baby having a chromosomal abnormality. However, there are additional causes for a high-risk outcome.
 
Therefore, the doctor can suggest extra testing in this situation to determine whether the growing baby has a chromosome problem or not. In the event that you receive a low-risk result.

It is tremendously comforting to know that your child does not have chromosomal disorders such as trisomy 13, Down syndrome, trisomy 18, or any sex chromosome disorder. Since the non-invasive prenatal test is so exact, there is minimal risk that it will miss detecting the issue.

 
This examination does not reveal all chromosome issues and does not check for other birth abnormalities or genetic diseases. Since this process requires blood to be drawn, it is considered non-invasive.

However, you must keep in mind that NIPT is a screening test; thus, it cannot provide a conclusive determination of whether or not the baby has a genetic disorder; instead, NIPT only provides an estimate of whether there is a high or low chance of developing specific conditions.

 

What does the result mean?

Your doctor could advise additional tests to verify the diagnosis if noninvasive prenatal testing reveals that the baby is at risk for a chromosomal abnormality. These tests, which could be more intrusive, consist of:
 

Amniocentesis: Amniotic fluid, a liquid that resembles water and contains fetal cells, surrounds the fetus throughout pregnancy. A small amount of amniotic fluid is extracted during an amniocentesis operation using a fine needle that is put into the uterus through the abdomen and guided by ultrasonography.

 
The fluid is subsequently taken to a lab for examination. The recommended window for this test is between fourteen and twenty weeks of pregnancy.
 

Chorionic villus sampling: Since chorionic villi are small and generated from the fertilized egg, they typically share similar genes as the fetus. A small sample of chorionic villi cells is obtained during the chorionic villus sampling. The cells can be obtained in one of two ways: through the vagina or the abdomen.

 
After being cultivated in a specific fluid in a lab, the cells from the sample of chorionic villi are analyzed a few days later. The recommended window for this test is between ten and thirteen weeks of pregnancy.
 

How long does it take to get the results?

You will need to give a blood sample if you are undergoing NIPT. You're likely familiar with the process because it is identical to having any other blood test.

The findings of the NIPT are not immediately available because the blood sample must first be sent to the lab for analysis. The timeframe for results ranges from three days to two weeks.

 

Why should you take the NIPT test?

One of the reasons to go for this test is that it has a high accuracy rate and can detect more than 99% of cases of Down syndrome. Also, it can easily detect fetal abnormalities as early as the 10th week of pregnancy without requiring invasive treatments.
 
When you wait for the results, it can be a worrisome time for you; however, you can talk to your doctor, who will answer all your questions.
 
Additionally, keep in mind that NIPT might not always be able to provide a result. Most frequently, this is due to insufficient fetal DNA or a sample that failed some of the lab's quality control procedures. This typically does not indicate a baby-related issue.

It is extremely uncommon for a pregnancy to show no result when there is a chromosomal issue. If there is no outcome, you must choose whether to retake the test or select alternative testing.

 

Conclusion

The non-invasive prenatal test has revolutionized the field of prenatal care. It is beneficial that the doctor can quickly test the DNA from the placenta for the most common chromosomal disorders. One can quickly know if their pregnancy is a high risk or low for chromosomal defects as early as the 10th week of pregnancy. Also, you can get the results within two weeks. Thus, it is simple to find out about the baby's health.

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