Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), sometimes called noninvasive prenatal screening (NIPS), is a method of determining the risk that the fetus will be born with certain genetic abnormalities. This testing analyzes small fragments of fetal DNA that are circulating in a pregnant mother’s blood, to screen for the most common fetal chromosome anomalies like trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) and trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome). The test is usually conducted between 9 weeks and 13 weeks +6 days gestation. NIPT is more than 99% accurate. NIPT may include screening for additional chromosomal disorders that are caused by missing (deleted) or copied (duplicated) sections of a chromosome. NIPT is considered noninvasive because it requires drawing blood only from the pregnant woman and does not pose any risk to the fetus as in a case of amniocentesis.
Since this test can determine sex of the fetus also, so medicolegal declarations by the prescribing Doctor and Patient are a mandate, as it is followed while ordering an Obstetric Ultrasound.
High cost of the test limits its routine use as a screening test. As of date approx. cost of the test is INR 15,000/-