And Genetic Testing For All... The Coming Revolutuion in Prenatal Genetic Testing
Jaime Staples King
Jaime King

For decades, researchers and prospective parents have sought a non-invasive method of performing prenatal genetic diagnosis (NIPD) that could provide information on a wide range of genetic conditions early on in a pregnancy. Recent advances involving cell-free fetal DNA will enable prospective parents to receive NIPD as early as seven weeks into the pregnancy.  This article describes the current state of cffDNA testing and analyzes the inital challenges and long term implications of of implementing NIPD into prenatal practice.  Specifically, the article argues that NIPD is likely to increase the volume of women engaging in prenatal genetic testing, the scope of conditions they will test for, and the range of options open to women upon finding out the results of their tests.  The article also discusses the challenges physicians and patients will face in determining which tests are appropriate and how to communicate the risks and benefits of NIPD. Finally, the article also highlights a wide range of issues that resurface with new urgency as NIPD begins to enter standard prenatal care.