Strategies for prenatal diagnosis today

Hippokratia 2006, 10(1):22-27

A Daniilidis, N Klearhou, M Mauromichali
3rd Dpt Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Hippokratio General Hospital, Thessaaloniki, Greece
Dpt of Paediatrics, “Gennimatas” General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece


Prenatal diagnosis has become a standard part of modern obstetrics. There is always the risk for a diagnostic error, which could result in a loss of a normal pregnancy or in an avoidable birth of a handicapped child. The various available screening tests which are being used nowadays aim to detect with the highest possible sensitivity the high risk pregnancies. The first trimester screening test combines maternal age, nuchal translucency and the measurements of serum b-hCG, AFP, uE3 and inhibin A. Accurate prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities is available by obtaining fetal cells through amniocentesis or chorionic villous sampling with an unavoidable though risk of miscarriage. Undoubtedly family history and also the improvement of ultrasound machines and skills play an important role in the detection of foetal abnormalities. The need of developing non invasive approaches for accurate prenatal diagnosis will become more and more desirable in the future.