You are here
Earlier Down Syndrome Test Brings Women Comfort or Conflict
Companies are racing to market a more accurate blood test than those available now that could spare many women the need for an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS). It would retrieve fetal DNA from the mother's bloodstream. And the answer could come before the pregnancy is obvious to others. For some women, that might mean abortion is a more tenable choice. For others it could be a mixed blessing. Initially, doctors are expected to use the new blood test with women at risk for a Down syndrome pregnancy, such as those older than 35. A negative result would indicate a woman could skip the amnio or CVS; a positive result would suggest she get one done to be sure. Eventually it might replace the routine screening tests offered to all pregnant women.