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Fetal Screenings Have Major Limitations: Study

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Current fetal screening tests detect only about half of potential chromosomal abnormalities, and women need to be given more information about test limitations and risks such as miscarriage, say Italian researchers.

They analyzed the findings of more than 100,000 prenatal diagnoses that involved invasive tests such as amniocentesis (in which a needle is used to take a sample of fluid from the womb) and found the tests identified only half of chromosomal abnormalities, BBC News reported.

The study was presented at a European Society of Human Genetics conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Researcher Dr. Francesca Grati, of the TOMA Laboratory in Busto Arsizio, said it's "fundamental" that doctors inform patients about the limitations of current fetal screening methods and potential risks so that patients can make an informed choice. For example, about one in 100 women who have amniocentesis will suffer a miscarriage.

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