New genetic technology speeds testing of fetuses

Cai Wenjun
The latest Whole Genome Sequencing technology delivers results within 24 hours instead of two weeks, making diagnosis and clinical intervention faster and more efficient.
Cai Wenjun

Local medical experts have adopted advanced genetic screening technology to shorten the time for identifying genetic disorders in fetuses to just 24 hours from 336.

The faster diagnosis offers more chance for clinical intervention.

The updated Whole Genome Sequencing is a new generation of screening technology for quick and low-cost testing.

Current prenatal genetic testing technology only targets certain parts of genes and usually takes a longer time.

Normal Whole Genome Sequencing can take at least 14 days for a report, which may delay diagnosis and miss the best time for intervention, said doctors from the Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital.

As Shanghai's Prenatal Diagnosis Technology Quality Control Center, the hospital cooperates with the Children's Hospital of Fudan University to use the new Whole Genome Sequencing technology.

In a recent case, a 35-year-old pregnant woman's 13-week-old fetus was suspected to be at risk of genetic disease during a prenatal check.

The woman came to the Shanghai International Peace in the 21st week of pregnancy.

Since the usual test would not have a result until the 24th week of pregnancy, doctors decided to use the new technology. The result received the next day confirmed that the fetus suffered Noonan syndrome, an inherited disease that causes many parts of the body to develop abnormally.

Doctors terminated the pregnancy based on the result.

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