American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG), recommends:
“Informing all pregnant women that NIPT/NIPS (Non-invasive prenatal screening) is the most sensitive screening option for traditionally screened aneuploidies i.e Patau, Edwards and Down Syndromes”.
NICC® test is available to all pregnant women, especially women with:
- Advanced maternal age (≥ 35 years old)
- Previous birth of a child with a birth defect
- Individuals with personal or family history of birth defects
- Abnormal ultrasound findings
- Positive serum screening test
NICC® test can be done anytime from the 10th week of pregnancy with just a simple blood draw from the arm. There is no limit in gestation age, NICC® can be carried out right until the end of pregnancy. However there is certain risk at late pregnancy (>24 weeks) due to the inability to undergo clinical diagnostic test to confirm the result as the ideal time for prenatal diagnosis has passed.
NICC® is a highly accurate screening test that provides a stronger risk indication than other traditional screening procedures with a sensitivity rate of >99.9% for Down Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome and Patau Syndrome. NICC® significantly reduces the number of women undergoing unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures. It is important to note that NICC® is a screening test, which means that it does not test with 100% accuracy like an invasive diagnostic procedure such as amniocentesis.
During pregnancy, cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) is released from placenta into mother’s blood vessel. Using only mother’s blood, NICC® detects the baby’s DNA and measures the risk of common chromosomal aneuploidies including Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13).
During pregnancy, fetal DNA from the placenta can be found in the mother’s blood. The NICC test detects the fetal DNA and measures the individual risk of chromosomal abnormalities (Down Syndrome, Edward Syndrome & Patau Syndrome) in the fetus.
Yes you can. However, for twin pregnancy, NICC® can only screen for the common trisomy, namely Down Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome and Patau Syndrome. In the case of ‘vanishing twin’, NICC® can only be performed at least 8 weeks after the development arrest.
NICC® measures the risk of certain chromosomal abnormalities The test can only estimate whether the risk of having certain conditions is increased or decreased
- Low risk – Means lower risk of developing the tested conditions. Routine follow ups should be performed to monitor the baby’s growth
- High risk – Means higher chance of having chromosomal abnormalities. Diagnostic tests should be performed to confirm the result
The result of this test does not eliminate the possibility of other abnormalities of the tested chromosomes other genetic disorders or other complications in the fetus or pregnancy
Screening test: While NICC ® is highly accurate, it cannot tell for sure whether or not your baby has any of the specific chromosome conditions. As a screening test, false positive and false negative result can still occur. The followings may compromise the accuracy of the test:
- Maternal chromosomal aneuploidies, mosaicism, vanishing twin and triplet (and above) pregnancy If the pregnant woman have received allogeneic blood transfusion, transplantation and or stem cell therapy, there will be a possibility of misleading results due to exogenous DNA
Possibility of re-sampling or no results: About 1-8% (1 to 8 in 100) or less of pregnant persons will need to have their blood drawn a second time because the test fails About half the time a result will be available after this second try There are various reasons why a test may fail including technical issues with the sample, or not enough cffDNA from the pregnancy (low fetal fraction) Factors that may result in a low fetal fraction are too early in the pregnancy, chromosome disorder and obesity.
- Simple: Requires only mother’s blood for testing
- Safe: Non – invasive, and therefore no risk to the baby
- Accurate: It detects more than 99% of Down Syndrome, Edward Syndrome and Patau Syndrome
NICC® does not replace the detailed ultrasound usually offered between 18 20 weeks of pregnancy This scan is important to check for the baby’s development including the anatomy (body parts such as heart, spine, brain, etc) of the baby, measuring the baby’s growth, and measuring the fluid around the baby.