Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a method of duplicating
DNA strands from a tiny sample of blood, hair, or
tissue. PCR is used to identify infectious diseases, genetic conditions, and
genetic links between people.
Collecting amniotic fluid through
amniocentesis is considered safer than fetal blood
PCR is better than antibody testing to detect
PCR can be done earlier in a pregnancy than a blood
test for antibodies. Because first- and second-trimester fetal infection carry
the highest risk of birth defects and
intellectual disability, earlier test results are
important to parents who are considering ending such a pregnancy.
Nayeri U, Thung S (2013). Congenital fetal infections. In AH DeCherney et al., eds., Current Diagnosis and Treatment Obstetrics & Gynecology, 11th ed., pp. 267-289. New York: McGraw-Hill.