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The NACE test for detecting Down's syndrome in the first trimester

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : July 30, 2014 4:25 PM IST

Pregnant womanA simple non-invasive blood test can now detect Down's syndrome in a pregnant female within three months of pregnancy. This is done through a new technology called NACE (Non-invasive analysis for chromosomal examination) which is now available in few centers in Bangalore. The NACE test is performed on the cell-free fetal DNA, which is extracted from the mother's blood via a simple blood draw, hence posing zero risk to the baby and to the mother. It is done from the 10th week to the 16th week of pregnancy.

Dr Prathima Radhakrishna, director, Bangalore Fetal Medicine Center said: 'NACE test has 99.9% accuracy of either confirming or ruling out genetic disorders such as Down's syndrome. The main advantage of NACE is that it is non-invasive and it poses near-zero risk to fetus and has no risk of abortion. It has been just about four months of its introduction in Bangalore and very few laboratories are using this technology.' (Read: Scientists figure out cause for Down's Syndrome)

Currently, the commonly used tests to detect any chromosomal abnormality across the country and globally are amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling and these tests are invasive and carry a high risk resulting in a miscarriage. NACE provides tests that give precise information about the risk of most frequent fetal chromosomal abnormalities during the 1st trimester in a single screening. (Read: Potential cure emerges for Down's syndrome)

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