What will the Nuchal scan involve?
The scan is performed in the fetal health unit by a specialist. The baby is checked in detail to exclude any structural abnormalities (obvious defects) and perform the above measurements on the baby. Your pregnancy can be accurately dated and if you wish you can find out about the fetal gender with 93% accuracy.
The scan takes approximately 30 minutes depending on your baby’s position.
The blood tests are also done in the fetal health unit, usually two days prior to your scan. The sample is packed and labelled and given to you to keep overnight in your fridge. The following moring, you post the sample as guaranteed next day delivery. The results come by fax the next day to your specialist obstetrician.
What is a Combined Nuchal Scan?
It is a screening test for pregnant mothers for a condition called Downs Syndrome. This condition affects approx 1 in 600 babies at birth. It is more common in older mothers over 35 but can also occur in younger mothers with no family history. Screening tests help to calculate the “chances” of an individual in the population of having a certain condition, in this case Downs Syndrome. This test does not definitely tell you that your baby has Downs Syndrome. but gives you the information to decide if you need to have a confirmatory or a diagnostic test called Chorion Villus Sampling (CVS) or an Amniocentesis. These tests will tell you for sure if your baby is affected by the condition.
What is a Nuchal scan with combined blood tests?
This includes a scan and a blood test.
The Nuchal scan is a detailed abdominal scan performed between 11 and 14 weeks. It measures the thickness of the back of the baby’s neck (Nuchal fold). Thicker measurements are more likely to be associated with downs syndrome. It also includes confirming the presence of nasal bone and two other markers Tricuspid regurgitation (leaking heart valve) and Ductus venosus Doppler (blood flow in one of the vessels) in the baby’s abdomen.
Blood tests are done alongside the scan to check levels of two hormones secreted by placenta which can be altered when the baby is affected by Downs Syndrome. This information helps us to give you an accurate risk estimation.
We have 99.9% accuracy in determining the fetal sex (after 16 weeks).
Our scans allow a unique bonding experience with your baby along with your partner (and children) if you wish.
What is the accuracy of the combined Nuchal scan?
The sensitivity or the pick up rate of this condition by this scan is 93% approximately and has a false positive rate of around 3%.
What happens if I get a high risk result?
The result would first be discussed with you on the same day by Dr. Iqbal and invasive testing may be offered and be arranged on the NHS if you wish. A copy of your result will be passed to the staff in PND (Pre Natal Diagnostic) department and you will be given a contact number to discuss the result further with them. If you then wish to proceed with invasive testing, it can then be booked by them on the NHS. A 20 week scan is offered on the NHS in any case.
If the Nuchal translucency is higher than 3.5mm, a fetal heart scan will be arranged in John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.
You will be given the final risk figure for having a baby affected by Downs Syndrome soon after your scan. The risk is normally considered high when the risk figure is 1:150 or above, at which point a diagnostic or invasive test will be discussed.
When will I get my final result and what level is considered high?
What is a Harmony Test?
We are now able to offer Harmony test and we work with the TDL labourites in London for this service.
This is a Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) that analyses cell-free DNA circulating in the pregnant mother’s blood. It is a new option in prenatal screening for Down syndrome (trisomy 21) and other common chromosomal conditions (trisomies 18 and 13), X and Y chromosome conditions (optional).
This test can be requested for any singleton or twin pregnancy, including those conceived naturally or by IVF using the patient’s own egg or a donor egg.
To discuss this test further please contact the number above.