Prenatal Cell-Free DNA Screening
The National Society of Genetic Counselors supports prenatal cell-free DNA (cfDNA) screening, also known as NIPT or NIPS,* as an option for pregnant patients. Because cfDNA screening cannot definitively diagnose or rule out genetic conditions, qualified providers should communicate the benefits and limitations of cfDNA screening to patients prior to testing. Many factors influence cfDNA screening performance, therefore it may not be the most appropriate option for every pregnancy.
Prior to undergoing cfDNA screening, patients should have the opportunity to meet with qualified prenatal care providers who can facilitate an individualized discussion of patients’ values and needs, including the option to decline all screening or proceed directly to diagnostic testing. Clinicians with expertise in prenatal screening, such as genetic counselors, should provide post-test genetic counseling to patients with increased-risk screening results. Diagnostic testing should be offered to patients with increased-risk results to facilitate informed decision making. (2016)
*NIPT: Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing or NIPS: Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening