The Harmony prenatal test
Pregnancy is a wonderful time of waiting for the youngest family member to be born. For many expectant parents, however, this time of joy is overshadowed by worries and concerns about the course of pregnancy and normal development of the baby. It is worthwhile to consider taking prenatal tests which allow complex and effective monitoring of the baby’s health condition. They also enable early detection of congenital, hereditary and genetic defects. If a fetal defect is identified, the parents are able to prepare emotionally for specific treatment after or even before the baby is born.
Prenatal tests can estimate, among others, the risk of the fetus having Down syndrome – a genetic defect which affects both physical and mental development of the child. Some genetic diseases are inherited, and others, like Down syndrome, are not. So, in fact, Down syndrome is a genetic disease which may occur in any pregnancy. Although a woman’s chances of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome increase with age, experts emphasize that most children with this particular defect are born to women under 35 years of age. The members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend offering the option of prenatal tests for Down syndrome to all pregnant women.
Non-invasive prenatal testing – what does the Harmony test involve?The Harmony test offered by ALAB laboratories is a prenatal examination based on the discovery that a pregnant woman’s blood contains fragments of her baby’s DNA. A single sample of maternal blood is enough to estimate the chance of having a child with 3 fetal genetic defects – Down syndrome (trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) and Pataua syndrome (trisomy 13).
Traditional maternal serum screening tests may not be able to detect as many as 20% of fetuses with Down syndrome in expectant mothers. The Harmony test yields the highest possible accuracy rates. It is a new type of a DNA-based examination which has been broadly studied in pregnant women aged 18 – 50. Clinical trials prove that the test detects Down syndrome with 99% accuracy and the percentage of false-positive results is below 0,1%.