In the Netherlands all pregnant women receive the possibility of testing the health of their unborn baby. Part of these tests consist of calculation of probability where your individual change of having a baby with one of the following chromosomal abnormalities will be determined:
The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test
The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is a blood test for pregnant women. In the blood, the DNA of the placenta will be examined. The DNA of the placenta matches the baby’s DNA in most cases. By examining this DNA, the baby will be checked for possibly having chromosomal abnormalities. The NIPT is safe for pregnancy and does not give an increased risk of miscarriage.
When: The earliest possibility to do the NIPT is at 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Calculation of probability
The NIPT is a quite accurate calculation of probability. Non-deviant results are accurate for more than 999 out of 1000 women. When the results do show abnormalities, the chance of accuracy differs per syndrome. For down syndrome the accuracy is 90%, for Edwards syndrome 90% and for Patau syndrome 50%. In these cases, a Chorionic villus test or amniocenteses will have to provide more certainty.
The NIPT focuses on three chromosomal abnormalities: Down Syndrome (trisomy 21), Edwards’ Syndrome (trisomy 18) and Patau Syndrome (trisomy 13). The NIPT however, has the possibility to find more abnormalities. These abnormalities can be found in the DNA of the baby, the placenta or (in rare cases) the pregnant mother herself. We call these findings: secondary findings.
There are several kinds of secondary findings: from very severe to mild disorders. From 1.000 pregnant women that choose NIPT, 4 women will test positive for a secondary finding. In order to determine what kind of secondary finding is found, further testing is necessary, usually through a chorionic villus test or amniocenteses.
The NIPT has been a part of the Trident 2 – Study. This study has come to an end, which means that from april 1st, 2023, the NIPT is now free of charge and available for everyone.
How does payment go?
The counseling session offered to you with your midwife is covered by insurance.
The NIPT itself is paid for by the government.
In case further testing is needed, like the chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis, the costs are covered by insurance.
For more information regarding the NIPT, take a look at: www.pns.nl