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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Nuchal test and amniocentesis. What exactly is it and did you get it done?

    I've been reading about these 2 tests, or this test, I'm not sure whether they are the same thing because its all very confusing. Can you explain the difference between them, and whether you got either or both of the tests done?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    The Nuchal Translucency Scan is done at 12 weeks and is a simple ultrasound, during which the fold at the back of the neck is measured. Larger fold width means more fluid behind the neck which is associated with increased risk of certain abnormalities such as Down Syndrome.
    Along with the NT scan you will also have a blood test. The combined results of these two tests will give you a risk factor for Trisomy 23, 18 and 15. This is just a risk factor (eg 1 in 900 chance), its not to say that your baby does or doesn't have any of these chromosomal abnormalities.

    The risk factor you are given here is compared against the 'normal' risk for your age group. If your risk is found to be significantly high then you will be offered an amnio. This procedure involves inserting a needle into the uterus to take a DNA sample directly from the fetus. This sample will be examined to give you a yes or no for chromosomal abnormalities and is very very accurate, however it carries a risk of miscarriage. The benefit is that if you intend to terminate you have a clear answer.

    Personally, I had the 12 week NT scan but not the amnio. I had very low risk for everything so didn't have any reason to do it. Even if my risk factor had been high, I still would have declined the amnio. I wouldn't have terminated anyway so it wasn't worth the risk.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 posts
    What pp said.

    You only get referred for amniocentesis if you have a high risk NT screen. It's not a standard procedure and you have to have a counseling appointment with a obstetrician before it can be booked. There is also a 1:200 risk of a miscarriage with an amniocentesis. So if your risk of the baby having an abnormality is 1:300 then the risk of miscarriage is actually higher. That's why they have counselling appointments and don't do amniocentesis unless its a very high risk.

    However, there's no point in having an amniocentesis unless your going to terminate if there's an abnormality.

    So there's no point in have the NT scan if you're not prepared to have an amniocentesis. It's just extra stress and worry.

    Factor that into your considerations.
    Last edited by wannawannabe; 21-02-2013 at 00:03.


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