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Nuchal Translucency Testing
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Clover719 posted:
I just had my first appointment today at 9 weeks and everything looked great! Saw the heartbeat, measuring right on track, got the ultrasound pictures....very exciting!

They asked me if I was interested in having the genetic testing done around 12 weeks, not an amnio or CVS, but the nuchal translucency test where they do the detailed ultrasound and draw blood. I asked my Dr. if most people opt to do it and she said only about 30% of people actually do it....I can't figure out why if it's only an ultrasound and blood work? I'd understand if people opted not to have an amnio if there was no prevalent reason to...is there something I'm missing? Any feedback on why you wouldn't do it? Is it considered elective through insurance and not covered?

Any information on this would help...sorry to be so long winded with the message! TIA!
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carlyess responded:
below is part of what babycenter.com had to say I'll put the link at the bottom incase you would like to read further

What is the nuchal translucency screening test? This prenatal test (also called the NT or nuchal fold scan) can help your healthcare practitioner assess your baby's risk of having Down syndrome (DS) and some other chromosomal abnormalities as well as major congenital heart problems.

The NT test uses ultrasound to measure the clear (translucent) space in the tissue at the back of your developing baby's neck. Babies with abnormalities tend to accumulate more fluid at the back of their neck during the first trimester, causing this clear space to be larger than average.

The NT scan must be done when you're between 11 and 14 weeks pregnant. (The last day you can have it done is the day you turn 13 weeks and 6 days pregnant.) It's usually offered along with a blood test in what's known as first-trimester combined screening.

Like other screening tests, an NT scan won't give you a diagnosis. But it can assess your baby's risk for certain problems and help you decide whether you want to have chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis to find out whether your baby is actually affected.

The NT scan has been performed in the United States since 1995, mostly at large medical centers. Ultrasound technicians (sonographers) and doctors need special training and high-resolution ultrasound equipment to perform it correctly. They must be certified by the Fetal Medicine Foundation in London, the organization that sets the international standards and provides the software that enables a doctor to evaluate your baby's risk.

Because the NT scan requires special training and equipment, it's not yet available everywhere. But the test is being done more widely as more medical personnel get trained and certified. If you're interested, ask your healthcare practitioner or genetic counselor whether it's offered in your area.

What are the advantages of first-trimester screening? First-trimester screening lets you learn about your baby's risk for chromosomal problems relatively early in the pregnancy without subjecting yourself to the slight risk of miscarriage from an invasive test like CVS.

If the risk is low, the results will offer you some reassurance. If the risk is high, you may have the opportunity to consider CVS, which will reveal whether your baby has a problem while you're still in your first trimester. (Keep in mind that CVS is usually done between 11 and 12 weeks, so to keep your options open, it's best to complete your first-trimester screening sooner rather than later.)

www.babycenter.com/0_nuchal-translucency-screening_118.bc
 
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jess052700 responded:
There are lots of reasons that people opt out. It is certainly not dangerous and those who do it are of the mindset that the more information the better. And its probably pretty fun to get another u/s.

But those who opt out might do so b/c they know they wouldn't take it further -- it only tells you your odds of having certain conditions, it is not diagnostic and many would not take the risk of amnio or CVS. People might also feel their odds are low for problems.

I was surprised that your dr said only 30% do it -- I would have expected more, but I don't have anything to base that off.
 
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Mississippi_Mom responded:
I would definitely do some research on the accuracy of this test. One of my close friends had this done and it said that her daughter was at high risk for Downs. They had the CVS testing done and she was perfectly healthy. For the week between the tests my friend and her husband were distraught. They are great parents and would have been terrific with a child with Downs and certainly would never have terminated the pregnancy or anything like that. They just went on quite an emotional roller coaster for what turned out to be nothing.
 
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Ame122 responded:
I decided to get it done, got to see my baby and got my arm pricked for blood screening. It was bad at all but nervous about the results. They came back negative, NT measurement is 1.84 mm at 12w2d and blood screening is in normal range. I stopped right there because I don't want to worry unncessarily. It's really up to because it's common to get a false positive result.

My GF decided not to do it. I did it because I wanted to see my baby again.
 
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acg_623 responded:
Thanks for sharing - I'm getting mine done next Wed and am somewhat anxious about the results. My doc said in her experience it's rare to find something but if it happens, they'd follow up with the CVS test. If there is an abnormality, it really won't matter to be because I would never terminate a pregnancy anyway, but I just want to do it for my own piece of mind to make sure baby's growing on track and hb is still strong. Plus, I think it's amazing to see how different the fetus looks at each stage - so exciting!


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