Background Free fetal DNA (ffDNA) testing for aneuploidy has recently started being offered to all women in our institution who are high risk for trisomy 21 (aged 35 or over at estimated date of delivery). We therefore examined the uptake rate of ffDNA for aneuploidy screening in women of advanced maternal age who had been seen by a genetic counsellor.
As this test has much higher sensitivity than other screening tests, we hypothesised that more women will have ffDNA than other forms of screening.
Methods We included 258 women who had singleton pregnancies and who were of advanced maternal age. We undertook a retrospective analysis of electronic chart data. Chi squared statistical analysis was performed on the data to determine statistical significance between groups based on age, nuchal thickness and parity.
Results 118 (46%) women had ffDNA for screening for aneuploidy, the remaining 140 (54%) chose either other screening options or no screening. Statistically there was no difference in choice between groups of women dependent on their calculated risk based on their age (p = 0.15). The size of the nuchal lucency measurement (within normal range) had no statistical effect on the choice (p = 0.16). Women who were primiparous were no more likely to have ffDNA than multiparous women (p = 0.4).
Conclusions Although ffDNA is a more accurate way of screening for aneuploidy, the majority of women are still using other forms of screening. We found that the uptake of ffDNA testing was not statistically significantly affected by age, nuchal thickness or parity.
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