Thai prenatal test helps find Down's Syndrome

national November 28, 2014 01:00

By CHULEEPORN ARMANET
THE NATION

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THAI NON-INVASIVE Prenatal Test (Thai NIPT), the latest project at Bangkok's Ramathibodi Hospital to help check Down's Syndrome in the foetus, will reduce miscarriage rate and provide a 99-per-cent result within a week with the same accuracy as an amnioce



This is also the first blood-testing procedure in Thailand that does not have to rely on a foreign hospital for the result.
Instead of diagnosing the amniotic fluid, which can lead to miscarriage, infection, or pre-term birth, the new technique will examine the blood of the pregnant woman to determine if the baby has Down’s Syndrome through a genes decoding technology, said Dr Panyu Panburana, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital.
If the result of the test is positive, the mother can have an amniocentesis test to confirm the result. The test can also find other abnormalities in the chromosome of the baby, he said. 
The entire process can be done in the hospital and the blood sample does not need to be sent for examination overseas, like other blood testing methods, he explained. 
Dr Panyu said Down’s Syndrome in a baby could be found in pregnant women who are 35 years or older at the rate 1.3 per 1000 as the mother’s ageing egg will cause abnormality during the cell-division process.
He suggested that women who are 10 to 24 weeks pregnant go for this test, whose result will be known in a week. However, as the treatment is an alternative examination, it would not be covered by the Social Security Office. 
The testing fee is Bt14,000 for Ramathibodi patients, who can avail of it from December onwards, while the price would be Bt15,500 for non-patients who could get it from January 2015 onwards.
 

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