Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing, or NIPT, uses a relatively new technology to screen for certain chromosomal abnormalities by looking at fragments of your baby’s genetic material that have crossed the placenta and are circulating in your blood stream. It requires only a sample of your blood and can be done as early as nine to 10 weeks into your pregnancy. Results are usually available within two weeks.
In research studies, NIPT appears to correctly identify 99 percent of women carrying fetuses with Down syndrome as “high risk.” Its sensitivity is lower for trisomy 18, trisomy 13 and sex chromosomal differences.
Like all screening tests, NIPT does not detect all cases of Down syndrome or other screened conditions.