Parental decisions to abort or continue a pregnancy following prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities in a setting where termination of pregnancy is not legally available


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Abstract

ObjectiveTo learn about parental decisions to abort or continue a pregnancy after prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities among the population in Uruguay.MethodsBetween 1982 and 2003, 14 656 amniocentesis and 2740 chorionic villus samplings were performed in a referral Genetic Unit. Chromosomal anomalies were found in 376 cases (2.16%) and included Down syndrome, aneuploidies in which a severe prognosis was expected, sex chromosome aneuploidy and aneuploidies with a low risk of an abnormal clinical phenotype. The couples that received abnormal results were contacted by phone and asked if they had continued or interrupted the pregnancy after the diagnosis and genetic counseling.ResultsWe contacted 207 couples (55%). When confronted with Down syndrome or an aneuploidy in which a severe prognosis was expected, 89% and 96% of patients, respectively, decided to terminate the pregnancy. When confronted with sex chromosome aneuploidy or aneuploidies with a low risk of an abnormal clinical phenotype, 79% and 90% of patients, respectively, decided to continue the pregnancy.ConclusionsThe present study shows that when faced with an anomaly such as Down syndrome and aneuploidies in which a severe prognosis was expected, most of the couples decided to terminate the pregnancy, although TOP is not legally available in Uruguay.

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