Screening And Diagnosis In Fetal Medicine Biology Essay


In Ancient Greece, Spartans killed newborn male babes judged to be unhealthy or weak, by throwing them from a Mount, while pre-Islamic Arabs buried their misss alive. Those ancient people practiced a basic signifier of postpartum familial choice, in one instance based on physical visual aspect and in the 2nd instance, based on sex. Today, with the coming of engineering and familial advancement, those ancient postpartum choices have now been replaced by antenatal showing and diagnosing.Prenatal showing is aimed at gauging the likeliness of a babe holding inborn or chromosomal anomalousnesss during gestation ( Ettorre et al, 2007 ) .

In the 1970s, antenatal showing was chiefly used for showing of spina bifida ( Chan et al, 1993 ) and Down ‘s syndrome ( Wald et al, 1988 ) . Based on the truth of the screening trial, the babe will be classified at a hazard degree and if deemed high plenty, parents may be offered to set up a definite diagnosing, which may present a hazard of abortion. Once a more definite diagnosing is established, if positive, parents may make up one’s mind to prosecute or end the gestation, and otherwise, it gives reassurance to the parents. A survey by Stoll ( 2002 ) carried out in France showed incidence of Down ‘s syndrome decreased by 80 % over 21 old ages from 1979 to 1999 but besides an increased rate of expiration, while a survey by Buckley and Buckley ( 2008 ) demonstrates that false positive consequences lead to unneeded intercession, anxiousness for parents and possible foetal loss.This procedure of antenatal showing and diagnosing raises ethical inquiries as it may look to offer parents the tools to accomplish the “ best ” possible babe or avoid a babe with a disablement, taking to a population perceived as “ eugenic ” .So allow us discourse the advantages and disadvantages of antenatal showing and diagnosing and how it may germinate in the following 10 old ages.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Advantages of Prenatal Screening

Prenatal showing by definition is aimed at placing and gauging hazards in an unborn babe of chromosomal or familial abnormalcies, and more late for designation of gestations with inauspicious result.

The hazard can be calculated by a combination of maternal blood trial by look intoing different endocrines and by echography.Prenatal showing does non present any hazard to the babe or the female parent and it can quite accurately detect normalcy or the deficiency of it in a babe. 98 % of adult females want first trimester showing ( Graaf et al, 2002 ) as it gives reassurance to parents. A survey by Lo et Al ( 2009 ) has shown that given the pick, adult females would choose for first trimester showing and would even be willing to pay for trial with low positive false rate to be given the “ all clear ” so that they can bask a stress-free gestation. The chief classs of testing in foetal medical specialty are biochemical testing to look into degree of different endocrine in maternal blood and ultrasound showing. It is critical to make reding before any screening trial can be considered, as rating and effect of hazard appraisal for a familial upset can hold a immense impact on the anticipating twosome so the difference between testing and diagnosing should be clearly understood and conveyed to the anticipating twosome.Aneuploidy ( e.g.

trisomy 21 ) is a major cause of familial upsets which later leads to increased antenatal mortality and morbidity so different methods of antenatal diagnosing of aneuploidy have been used over the last four decennaries ( Nicolaides, et al 2011 ) .The ideal testing trial would be easy to implement, low cost, with a high sensing success rate, and lowest possible false positive rate, leting early and safe sensing. Nicolaides ( 2011 ) describes trial for aneuploidy in item and screens biochemical and ultrasound showing for first and 2nd trimester showing, with the focal point traveling to the first trimester showing ( Table 1 ) . They are assorted trials for serum markers and ultrasound, and although the false-positive rate remains about the same, the sensing rate can change greatly depending on the trial chosen. The most utile and dependable trial as of today is the combined trial of maternal age ( MA ) , with Nuchal translucence ( NT ) which is mensurating fluid behind the foetal cervix, measuring of free beta human chorionic gonadotropin ( human chorionic gonadotropin ) and gestation associated plasma protein-A ( PAPP-A ) and measuring of rhinal bone, tricuspid flow and ductus venosus flow. This “ full combined ” trial can be carried out in the first trimester and has a sensing rate of 93-96 % with false positive rate of 2.

5 % .Table 1: Performance of different testing methods for trisomy 21 ( Nicolaides, 2011 )New techniques of monolithic analogue processing ( Chiu et al, 2011 ) let sensing of trisomy 21 by maternal plasma DNA sequencing with really high sensing rates but it is presently really dearly-won and unviable on a large-scale.As shown by Nicolaides ( 2011 ) , ultrasound imagination has become a critical component of antenatal showing. 2D scan is used to look into normal foetal development, to happen out about major structural anomalousnesss, testing for aneuploidy and major cardiac defect, and can be used in interventional foetal therapy and eventually can cut down perinatal mortality by placing high hazard gestations and assist monitoring during gestations. It is of import to gain that different images of one peculiar construction should be obtained for more precise and accurate showing like 4-chamber position would observe 63 % of major inborn bosom diseases ( CHD ) and outflow piece of land position would observe 91 % of CHD ( Sklansky et Al, 2009 ) .3D scan can supply an advantage when 2D is non sufficient, for illustration to observe a cleft lip. MRI is better for encephalon anomaly images like agenesia of principal callosum, to see extent of cystic lesions ( Hagberg et al, 2008 ) besides in ventriculomegaly.

MRI of placenta in instance of placental inadequacy could foretell the badness of the on-going disease ( Damodaram et al, 2010 ) and specialised diffusion weighted MRI may be used as an early marker in instance of intra-uterine growing limitation ( IUGR ) ( Bonel et al, 2010 ) . MRI can besides be used for diagnosing of placenta accreta along with ultrasound to entree extent of placental invasion ( Lax et al, 2007 ) but it is non cost effectual.Non-invasive testing utilizing cell free foetal Deoxyribonucleic acid technique foremost used by Lo et Al ( 1997 ) has no hazard of abortion, no parental anxiousness and has earlier handiness particularly for dominant familial upsets in which the male parent is transporting the mutant can be detected by sex finding every bit early as 7 hebdomads with sensitiveness between 95-100 % ( Bischoff et al, 2005 ) , but this reduces to 70-95 % in instance of euploid sample.

The technique can besides be used to observe the foetal Rhesus D blood group who are at hazard of developing Rhesus haemolytic disease ( RHD ) in Rhesus negative female parents if the foetus is positive so it will necessitate anti-D injection but if it negative so there is no demand to give injection. This technique can salvage money to a health care system and avoid female parents holding unneeded blood merchandise and hazard of infection and anaphylaxis ( Fining et al, 2004 ) .Many major diseases can be predicted at early showing at 11-13 hebdomads gestation like preeclampsia ( Akolekar et al, 2011 ) by mensurating the uterine arteria Doppler. Factors like maternal biophysical profile, increased NT, contrary ductus and low PAPP-A can foretell hazard of abortion ( Akolekar et al, 2011 ) . Increased NT can assist about the hazard for aneuploidy but can assist observe anomalousnesss, such as major cardiac anomalousnesss ( Hyett et al, 2004 ) .Increasing demand for truth in antenatal showing is forcing experts to accomplish high criterion in available testing methods.

Disadvantages of antenatal showing

Recently a Cochrane database reappraisal has shown that serum markers could take to unnatural consequences like remarkably high I? human chorionic gonadotropin entirely, which may non be important but if accompanied by increased degree of other markers like maternal serum AFP correlated with inauspicious gestation result ( Gagnon et al, 2008 ) .

Similarly low unconjugated estradiol degree associated with rare familial conditions like Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome and more frequently X-linked skin conditions ( Schoen et al, 2003 ) makes the state of affairs really complex and a medical geneticist demand to be involved in this instance and this installation may non be available in all infirmaries and patients may necessitate to travel to a specialized third Centre for farther appraisal which will add excess emphasis and anxiousness.Quality of ultrasound markers is hard to accomplish as compared to serum biochemistry which means that to accomplish quality standard consequences of ultrasound shapers, patients may hold to be referred to specialised Centre or guarantee to hold decently trained staff as consequences may change due to hapless quality control ( Cuckle et al, 2010 ) . But on the other manus, utilizing first trimester ultrasound is cost effectual, easy available, and can be used non merely for sensing of major anomalousnesss but besides for placing high hazard gestations and as a consequence, adult females can be given an “ all-clear ” at the beginning of gestation or have the option of expiration in instance of inauspicious result ( Nicolaides, 2011 ) .MRI can used as accessory but non as chief tool in state of affairs where the ultrasound is non helpful ( Levine et al, 2006 ) , so it can merely be used in complicated gestations, but it is hapless at naming bosom conditions, cord interpolation and external genital organ ( Zaretsky et Al, 2003 ) . It is expensive, non widely available and no randomised controlled test has been done.In some instances like pectoral scoliosis, 3D scan may be more appropriate than 2D scan which fails to measure rib anomalousnesss ( Chapman et al, 2010 ) while encephalon, lung and complex familial syndromes can be better assessed by foetal MRI ( Pugash et al, 2008 ) .Placental glycoprotein A Disintegrin and Metalloprotease 12 ( ADAM 12 ) has been discovered as possible Down ‘s syndrome biomarker done at 8-9 hebdomads of gestation along with PAPP-A with sensing rate of 91 % and false positive rate of 5 % ( Laigaard, 2006 ) but would necessitate an extra trial and cost and stepwise showing government.

Another sonographic marker, increased hepatic arteria extremum systolic speed ( PSV ) has been shown or demonstrated in Down syndrome ( Zvanca et al, 2011 ) . All these markers add to rear anxiousness where there is deficiency of grounds.Some parents are exploited by purchasing Cadmium and DVD of 3D echography of their babe at the cost of ?200. If something goes incorrect with the gestation subsequently, these clinics can be sued for carelessness or supplying inappropriate service and trigger a bigger injury for the patient.Extensive showing of minor or decorative facets can misdirect parents into make up one’s minding to end a kid, such as for a babe holding a cleft lip which can be corrected by surgery but the parents feel that they can non travel through the whole ordeal of traveling through the gestation and the postpartum surgery they might choose to hold expiration which could take to society at hazard of choice of sex, personality and physical features and finally eugenics.Use of antenatal showing to place the sex of the babe may take to female aborticide in some states due to societal force per unit area, such as in India where there is an unnatural surplus of male neonates due to expirations of female foetuss as demonstrated by the survey carried out by Jha et Al ( 2006 ) .Increased NT with normal karyotype is linked with inauspicious result like cardiac defect, familial syndromes chiefly sporadic and possible neurodevelopmental hold and decease, while really high NT is linked with worst result ( inversely proportional ) and need geneticist guidance ( Bilardo et al, 2010 ) .Ultrasound soft markers in 2nd trimester scan have non proven to replace amniocentesis in high hazard gestations ( Smith-Bindman et Al, 2007 ) .

Pregnancies with low PAPP-A ( less than 0.3MOM ) have 5 crease increased hazard of low birth weight and preterm labour which may necessitate increased surveillance during gestation ( Barrett et al, 2008 ) .There are ethical and logistic issues about antenatal showing. First, direction after a negative consequence may non be available in all infirmaries and in instance of execution, the cost would be a large issue. Second, as with any showing, there is hazard of happening rare conditions.Screening for conditions like spinal muscular wasting will be $ 4.9 million, so to forestall one instance is non cost effectual and targeted showing of patents with household history would be an alternate option ( Small et Al, 2010 ) .

Third, reding demands to be patient-oriented and guarantee the bringing of information was accurate but there is ever hazard of endangering this. Finally, there is need to put a differentiation between treatable and untreatable diseases.

Prenatal showing and diagnosing over the following 10 old ages

Prenatal diagnosing is a method foremost to observe foetal structural deformity and familial anomalousnesss, secondly place and supervise complicated gestations like pre-eclampsia, IUGR by measuring the growing and development of foetus in utero. These methods include Ultrasound, Amniocentesis, Chorionic villus sampling ( CVS ) and maternal serum showing. Invasive techniques pose a hazard of abortion.

CVS does non consequence normal eutherian development ( Khalil et al, 2010 ) but is less sensitive than amniocentesis due to placental mosaicism but available in first trimester so the patients know information earlier in instance of unnatural consequences. Invasive processs can be more traumatic for the patient due to swerve expectancy during the process as there can be pain, hemorrhage, station process hazard of abortion, hazard of limb malformation, preterm labor and infection ( Philip et al, 2004 ) . More late, non merely foetal defects are identified but besides treated in utero by utilizing different intervention modes named jointly as foetal therapy. The foetus is taken as a patient and this has revolutionised the field of antenatal diagnosing but it has yet to set up itself as a new criterion ( Schoenwolf et al, 2010 ) . Fetal therapy includes foetal transfusion, foetal medical intervention, foetal surgery like puting shunt, mending spina bifida and inborn diaphragmatic hernia and taking cystic lesion in lung and eventually, root cell organ transplant and cistron therapy as the foetus does non turn immuno-competence before 18 hebdomads and it may be a good chance to transfer tissues or cells ( Schoenwolf et al, 2010 ) .Molecular cytogenetics is another major portion of antenatal diagnosing.

Fluorescent insitu hybridization technique ( FISH ) can be used more accurately in instance of common aneuploidies like trisomy 13, 18 or 21 ( Tepperberg et al, 2001 ) . This method is fast, low cost but of limited diagnostic value. More late, array comparative genomic hybridization which is a manner to scan the whole genome by look intoing for a addition or loss of chromosomal stuff seems a more elaborate trial but the dependability is hampered by familial familial discrepancies. Techniques like polymerase concatenation reaction ( PCR ) in which DNA sequencing of whole genome of a individual cell are ideal as it trial for familial discrepancies as good ( Lee et al, 2010 ) . Multiplex PCR has become the new approaching method of pick ( Chiu et al, 2011 ) .During reding parents should be informed of station natal probe for verification of diagnosing and return hazard appraisal ( Khalil et al, 2011 ) .

Future of antenatal diagnosing is non merely naming the status with 100 per centum preciseness but besides handling it or rectify its inauspicious consequence.First to do antenatal diagnosing more accurate as discussed earlier, monolithic analogue sequencing of DNA can supply high truth, sensing of chromosomal aneuploidies, diagnosing of monogenic diseases at a high cost but brought a new skyline in the field of antenatal genetic sciences, doing invasive testing a thing of the past and handiness of non-invasive antenatal showing to everyone in the hereafter with the hope that the sequence of whole foetal genome from the female parent ‘s blood would be available in the close hereafter ( Lo et al, 2010 ) .Second as described in Ndumbe et Al ( 2008 ) , late diagnosing of familial defects and chromosomal aneuploidies is geared towards foremost trimester so parents can make up one’s mind earlier and it is accomplishable due to advanced ultrasound machines and techniques which combined with blood trial can observe 97.5 % Down syndrome and 80 % CNS anomalousnesss in first trimester.

More and more hazard designation of complications such as diabetes, pre-eclampsia and preterm labor is assessed in first trimester and gestations with possible inauspicious result can be monitored consequently ( Nicolaides et al, 2010 ) . As some argue that it adds anxiousness during gestation ( Fisher et al, 2011 ) , better reding accomplishments will be required to battle this job.Third, more forte oriented attack for accurate diagnosing going a pattern where a foetal echocardiography is done by a foetal echo specializer for a elaborate analysis of the bosom.Fourthly, the foetus is treated as a patient and after being diagnosed, it is given intervention such as in instance of cardiac arrhythmias in foetus. It is besides offered surgical intervention in instance of inborn diaphragmatic hernia and spina bifida.

Finally, cistron therapy appears to be ideal in the foetus as it has low hazard of rejection due to the foetal immune system non to the full developed. It can bring around some of familial blood upsets for this intent, foetal ain cord blood can be used as it has extremely retrieval of root cells particularly after stop deading without rejection.On the other manus, it can be argued that all theses new techniques will increase the likeliness of happening abnormalcies which accordingly require adept reding sing these trials consequences, possible result of these abnormalcies which would arouse high demand of invasive testing in first trimester by experient experts in a regional specialized familial Centres so parents can make up one’s mind early about the on-going gestation ( Wapner, et al 2010 ) .

Well established antenatal therapies like foetal transfusion for anemia ( Inge L et Al, 2005 ) and laser surgery for twin to duplicate transfusion syndrome ( Senat at EL, 2004 ) are step towards robotic foetal surgery for fix of foetal anomalousnesss such as spina bifida which is an uncomplete closing of the spinal cord ( Zhang et al 2009 ) . With exponential advancement in antenatal diagnosing, nanotechnology in neurodevelopment upset like Down ‘s syndrome by cistron therapy or rectify the implicit in defect ( Woolfe et al 2010 ) and intrauterine root cell therapy, cistron therapy or epigenetic changes utilizing non-coding messenger RNA or “ nanobots ” are possible countries for important discoveries over the following decennary ( Choolani et al, 2010 ) non merely common familial diseases would be treatable but the inauspicious consequence of rare enfeebling diseases will be dealt with. The chance of cistron therapy during gestation to rectify familial conditions like cystic fibrosis, thalassaemia and many neurological upsets, appears exciting and surely has unfastened new skylines for antenatal diagnosing. Why foetal cistron therapy is needed? And the reply is good described by David and Peebles ( 2008 ) , Davey and Flake ( 2011 ) . It can be used for a disease which can non be rectified or improved after birth. Second, it can get the better of major jobs faced in grownup cistron therapy such as rejection, whereas the foetal immune system is turning and can be tailored to suit foreign cistrons.

Third, as a babe is really little during the first trimester, it would merely necessitate a little dosage and as it has big sums of its ain root cells which are non available after birth, this will finally increase the effectivity of cistron therapy and potentially cut down consequence of early oncoming diseases. It besides offers parents an option other than expiration. With improved methods of bringing of cistron ( Rahim et al, 2009 ) , it is going an attractive intervention mode for inborn neurological upsets.On the other manus, there has been incidence of liver tumor following in utero cistron transportation in carnal theoretical account ( Coutelle et al, 2005 ) and it is argued that it has no topographic point at present while pre-implantation familial diagnosing is available for familial diseases ( Coutelle et al, 2008 ) as it is critical to look into the safety of the technique before its clinical application in worlds and this needs uninterrupted research on the subject.


Prenatal showing and diagnosing are quickly germinating and offering more and more accurate, non-invasive methods such as new DNA sequencing techniques ( Chiu et al, 2011 ) , with the chance of early familial intercession to rectify or understate the consequence of the detected status.On the other manus, advancement is besides need for familial guidance due to the increasing complexness and determination of new syndromes and conditions.


I'm Ruth!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out