Prenatal diagnosis in the Netherlands, 1991-2000: Number of invasive procedures, indications, abnormal results and terminations of pregnancy

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ObjectiveTo provide an overview of invasive prenatal diagnosis in the Netherlands and to analyse trends.MethodsAnnual results from all centres for invasive prenatal diagnosis in the Netherlands over the period 1991-2000 were combined and described, with particular emphasis on indications, abnormal results, type of invasive procedures, and terminations of pregnancy.ResultsThe percentage of invasive prenatal diagnosis increased from 5% of births in 1991 to 6% in 1996 and subsequently remained at that level. During the study period, the number of pregnant women aged 36 and older increased by 70%, but the number of procedures performed because of maternal age remained stable. The detection rate for abnormal results was 2-3% for maternal age and rose from 9 to 13% for other indications. Other trends during the study period included a relative decrease in cordocentesis (—82%) and chorionic villi biopsy (—18%) in favour of amniocentesis (+48%), and a strong decrease in the number of amniocentesis procedures for increased risk of neural tube defect. In 71% of the cases with abnormal results, the pregnancy was terminated.ConclusionThere was a significant decrease in the percentage of pregnant women aged 36 or older who underwent invasive prenatal diagnosis without previous screening. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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