Health advice: Tell pregnant women about other NIPT findings

Now women who have non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) are informed of chromosomal abnormalities suggestive of Down, Edwards or Patau. Other chromosomal abnormalities not automatically listed.

Examination till 1st April

Until April 1, women can choose whether to report it. According to the Health Council, nearly 80 percent have already opted for it. The investigation will end on April 1. If NIPT is offered to pregnant women as standard after that date, the test will no longer be available and the Health Council believes that everyone should be informed of this.

The advisory panel assumes that pregnant women who choose NIPT do so because they want to know whether the fetus has a serious chromosomal abnormality. According to the Health Council, it doesn’t matter which chromosome the abnormality is located on. In addition, the choice between whether or not to be told about those other deviations could lead to ‘procedural differences’ and, according to the Council, make the decision to participate or not ‘more complicated than it already is’.

‘Keep it simple’

Another reason for keeping it ‘simple’ and communicating all the extreme deviations is that it makes the presentation of information more accessible and understandable. According to the Health Council, pregnant women should be given information about possible malignant disorders and certain types of cancer that can be detected through screening.

The Council wants to make an exception for one category of disorders: rare abnormalities that should not be included in the results. According to the Health Council, in most cases follow-up research shows that only the placenta is affected.

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The Minister is yet to decide whether to accept the Health Council’s advice. That’s usually the case.

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