Prenatal Screening Strategies in Localities with Limited Resources


Several important developments have been made in prenatal screening and diagnosis of serious fetal abnormalities, and prevention of common adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, full implementation is not cost-neutral and in localities with limited resources, compromises are needed. This review considers options for maternal plasma cell free DNA (cfDNA); prenatal microarray analysis; and multi-marker screening for preeclampsia (PE). Although not new, use of first trimester nuchal translucency and additional ultrasound markers is also considered as this is not routinely available in many limited resource localities. In order to benefit from recent advances in prenatal screening, even in adequately resourced localities, public health decision-makers have to make difficult choices. Options include: secondary and contingent cfDNA screening following a positive conventional test, microarray only when there are ultrasound indications, first trimester PE and screening using biochemistry alone, ideally with additional serum markers.

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Correspondence to Howard Cuckle.

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Cuckle, H., Neiger, R. Prenatal Screening Strategies in Localities with Limited Resources. J. Fetal Med. 4, 165–170 (2017).

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  • cfDNA
  • Screening
  • CVS
  • Amniocentesis
  • Microarray
  • aCGH
  • Down syndrome
  • Preeclampsia
  • Markers
  • Spina bifida