Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)

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 percept is a non-invasive prenatal screening test (NIPT) for chromosome conditions.

NIPT is a blood test that looks at small pieces of DNA from your pregnancy. These pieces are found in your blood by the time you are 10 weeks pregnant. By looking at these pieces of DNA, percept NIPT can tell you if there’s an increased chance that your pregnancy may have a chromosome condition, such as Down syndrome. 

percept NIPT looks at all 23 pairs of chromosomes, meaning it screens for many chromosome conditions.

The percept blood test can be performed any time from 10 weeks of pregnancy, as confirmed by a dating scan. You will get your test results quickly within 7-10 working days of blood extraction.

What are the limitations of NIPT?

NIPT testing does not screen for all fetal abnormalities. NIPT is very specific about the chromosomes it is testing (eg 21, 18, 13, X and Y).

A negative NIPT test does not completely rule out the chromosomal abnormalities that it is testing for but it significantly reduces the chance to <1:10,000.

Patients who themselves carry a chromosomal abnormality, who have had a transplant or stem cell therapy, donor eggs are not suitable for NIPT. Please ask, we may have an alternative option.

How accurate is NIPT?

Reported detection rates (DR) for trisomy 21 using NIPT are >99% and false positive rates (FPR) are <1%.

Whilst NIPT has emerged as an accurate screening test, it is not considered a diagnostic test at this stage and invasive testing (CVS or amniocentesis) should still be offered to confirm positive NIPS results.

What does PERCEPT screen for?

percept NIPT will tell you the chance that your pregnancy may have a certain type of chromosome condition. 

percept NIPT looks for conditions across all 23 pairs of chromosomes.

This includes: 

  • The three most common chromosome conditions seen in pregnancy - Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome. 

  • Less common conditions caused by changes to the number of chromosomes. 

  • Conditions caused by changes to chromosome structure (missing or extra pieces of chromosomes).

  • Sex chromosome conditions caused by changes to the X and Y chromosomes (which determine the sex of the baby).

  • Testing can also identify the sex of your baby should you wish to know.

What results might I get with PERCEPT?

A Low Risk result indicates that it is unlikely that your baby is a affected by one of the conditions on the percept panel.

Note, however, that a low risk result does not guarantee a healthy pregnancy as percept is not a diagnostic test and only screens for certain conditions.

High Risk Result:

A High Risk result means that there is an increased risk that your baby has the condition, but it is not certain.

Invasive testing during the pregnancy, such as amniocentesis (amnio) or chorionic villus sampling (CVS), or testing after the baby is born, can tell you for certain if the baby has the condition. Speak with your healthcare provider about your follow-up options.

No Result:

In a small percentage of cases, percept may not be able to obtain sufficient information from your blood sample to determine an accurate result. If this occurs, a second blood sample may be requested. 

How much is NIPT?

The percept cell-free DNA prenatal test is $620 NZ. This cost is subject to change.

NIPT testing is performed by Wellington Obstetrics at our Terrace location

Please call 04 974 4480 to schedule a NIPT appointment.

For further information visit https://www.vcgs.org.au/tests/perceptnipt