RPA Fetal Medicine Unit: Advice regarding prenatal screening program for women delivering at RPA or Canterbury Hospitals

RPA will continue to use combined first trimester screening (cFTS) as the primary screening tool for common forms of chromosomal abnormality (Trisomies 21, 18 and 13) and provide women with advice about the value of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) (which is an out of pocket expense) contingent on their cFTS result.

For patients wanting NIPT at an earlier gestation, before cFTS, please advise FMU of the result to avoid confusing risk analyses and be aware that the NIPT test is limited to assessing risk for chromosomal abnormality and a 12-week scan still needs to be performed.

RPA have recently negotiated an improved rate for patients that plan to deliver at Canterbury or RPA Women and Babies. The Natera 'Panorama' product cost to patients is $250 – directly payable to the laboratory.

NIPT referrals: RPA FMU Monday and Thursday mornings made using the standard ultrasound forms (asking for an NIPT test and, if needed, a scan). The results come through the genetics counselling service.

In addition to offer a discounted product, RPA have signed up to take part in trial called the SMART study. This is a prospective international multicentre study looking at the use of NIPT to screen for del22q11. This research trial (which is voluntary) will be discussed with patients when they attend. There is no added cost for 22q11 analysis.

Further information is outlined in pdf letter (186 KB) from Professor Hyett, Head High Risk Obstetrics RPA Women and Babies.