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Prenatal Diagnosis Procedures and Techniques to Obtain a Diagnostic Fetal Specimen or Tissue: Maternal and Fetal Risks and Benefits

      Abstract

      Objective

      To provide maternity care providers and their patients with current evidence-based guidelines for maternal risk/benefit counselling for a prenatally identified at-risk pregnancy that requires ultrasound-guided prenatal diagnostic procedures and/or techniques for a genetic diagnosis and for subsequent pregnancy management decisions on questions such as level of obstetrical care provider, antenatal surveillance, location of care and delivery, and continuation or termination of pregnancy. This guideline is limited to maternal risk/benefit counselling and pregnancy management decisions for women who require, or are considering, an invasive ultrasound-guided procedure or technique for prenatal diagnosis.

      Patient population

      Pregnant women identified as having an increased risk of a fetal genetic abnormality secondary to the process of established prenatal screening protocols (maternal serum ± imaging, high-risk cell-free DNA results, abnormal diagnostic fetal imaging, or a positive family history of an inherited condition). These women may require or request counselling about pregnancy risks and benefits of an invasive ultrasound-guided procedure to determine the etiology, diagnosis, and/or pathology for the possible fetal anomaly or anomalies.

      Evidence

      Published literature was retrieved through searches of Medline, PubMed, and the Cochrane Library in and prior to June 2014 using an appropriate controlled vocabulary (prenatal diagnosis, amniocentesis, chorionic villi sampling, cordocentesis) and key words (prenatal screening, prenatal genetic counselling, post-procedural pregnancy loss rate). Results were restricted to systematic reviews, randomized control trials/controlled clinical trials, and observational studies written in English and published from January 1985 to June 2014. Searches were updated on a regular basis and incorporated in the guideline to June 2014. Grey (unpublished) literature was identified through searching the websites of health technology assessment and health technology-related agencies, clinical practice guideline collections, clinical trial registries, and national and international medical speciality societies.

      Values

      The quality of evidence in this document was rated using the criteria described in the Report of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (Table 1).

      Health benefits, side effects, and risks

      Patient informed consent, knowledge translation, genetic prenatal risk assessment, anxiety relief, anxiety creation, advocacy, understanding or limitation for fetal testing, pregnancy management choice, pregnancy complication or loss, timely and improved care for birth of aneonate with recognized morbidity.

      Recommendations

      • 1.
        The health care provider should counsel the at-risk pregnant woman on the different levels of genetic fetal testing in order for her to have a clear understanding and expectation of the level of testing and type of results that are offered. (III-B)
      • 2.
        As part of the informed consent process, the health care provider should review with the at-risk pregnant woman the risks and benefits of in utero genetic diagnostic techniques associated with fetal genetic testing options. (III-A)
      • 3.
        During risk/benefit counselling, the health care provider should advise that the best estimate of the pregnancy loss rate related to:
        • a.
          amniocentesis is 0.5% to 1.0% (range 0.17 to 1.53%) (I)
        • b.
          chorionic villus sampling is 0.5% to 1.0% (I) and
        • c.
          cordocentesis or percutaneous umbilical blood sampling is 1.3% for fetuses with no anomalies and 1.3% to 25% for fetuses with single or multiple anomalies or intrauterine growth restriction. (II-2A)

      Introduction

      Table 1Key to evidence statements and grading of recommendations, using the ranking of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care
      Quality of evidence assessment
      The quality of evidence reported in these guidelines has been adapted from The Evaluation of Evidence criteria described in the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.60
      Classification of recommendations
      Recommendations included in these guidelines have been adapted from the Classification of Recommendations criteria described in the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.60
      I: Evidence obtained from at least one properly randomized controlled trialA. There is good evidence to recommend the clinical preventive action
      II-1: Evidence from well-designed controlled trials without randomizationB. There is fair evidence to recommend the clinical preventive action
      II-2: Evidence from well-designed cohort (prospective or retrospective) or case-control studies, preferably from more than one centre or research groupC. The existing evidence is conflicting and does not allow to make a recommendation for or against use of the clinical preventive action; however, other factors may influence decision-making
      II-3: Evidence obtained from comparisons between times or places with or without the intervention . Dramatic results in uncontrolled experiments (such as the results of treatment with penicillin in the 1940s) could also be included in this categoryD. There is fair evidence to recommend against the clinical preventive action
      E. There is good evidence to recommend against the clinical preventive action
      III: Opinions of respected authorities, based on clinical experience, descriptive studies, or reports of expert committeesL. There is insufficient evidence (in quantity or quality) to make a recommendation; however, other factors may influence decision-making
      * The quality of evidence reported in these guidelines has been adapted from The Evaluation of Evidence criteria described in the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.
      • Woolf S.H.
      • Battista R.N.
      • Angerson G.M.
      • Logan A.G.
      • Eel W.
      Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. New grades for recommendations from the Canad ian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.
      Recommendations included in these guidelines have been adapted from the Classification of Recommendations criteria described in the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.
      • Woolf S.H.
      • Battista R.N.
      • Angerson G.M.
      • Logan A.G.
      • Eel W.
      Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. New grades for recommendations from the Canad ian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.
      While the scope of prenatal genetic diagnosis is usually based on the identification of fetal karyotype abnormalities, other analyses of specific genetic mutations are also possible using amniocytes, chorionic villus, or fetal blood. Maternal serum cfDNA molecular technology has potential diagnostic capability, but at the present time is generally restricted to fetal sexing, fetal Rh typing, and screening for trisomies
      • Vink J.
      • Fuchs K.
      • D'Alton ME.
      Amniocentesis in twin pregnancies: a systematic review of the literature.
      • Basaran A.
      • Basaran M.
      • Topatan B.
      Chorionic villus sampling and the risk of preeclampsia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
      and
      • Dugoff L.
      • Hobbins J.C.
      Invasive procedures to evaluate the fetus.
      . Other fetal genetic mutations have been identified from maternal serum cfDNA, but only on the basis of a case-by-case genetic differential diagnosis or when a specific family mutation has been identified.
      Prenatal diagnostic counselling begins with collecting the patient’s family history, ethnic background, past genetic, obstetrical, medical, and surgical history, and the indication for diagnostic fetal testing, and learning about the personal values and needs of the woman and her family. Parental karyotyping may be required for family or personal history of recurrent pregnancy loss or when there is a recognized family history for translocation carrier risks. Molecular genetic testing or referral for genetic assessment may be required when one of the parents presents characteristics suspicious of an undiagnosed genetic syndrome. Maternal and paternal factors (genetics, family, ethnic, reproductive ages, and personal health history) that may add to the pregnancy risk are summarized in Table 2
      • Wilson R.D.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee. Genetic considerations for a woman's pre-conception evaluation.
      Table 2Taking a pre-conception history for assessment and counselling
      Adapted from: Public Health Agency of Canada Family-centred maternity and newborn care: national guidelines Chapter 3 Preconception care Ottawa (ON): Health Canada; 2005
      Public Health Agency of Canada. Family-centred maternity and newborn care: national guidelines. Chapter 3. Preconception care.
      GENETIC HISTORY
      A thorough pre-conception history identifes couples who are genetically at risk. When women and their partners are informed of the risks of having a baby with birth defects or a genetic disorder prior to pregnancy, they are then able to determine their options regarding a pregnancy (including contraception, gamete donation, adoption, prenatal invasive testing, or chance)
      Family history
      Construct a three-generation pedigree
      • Include assessment of genetic diseases, including muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, cystic fbrosis, fragile X syndrome, syndromic congenital heart disease, phenylketonuria, skeletal dysplasia, sickle cell anemia, hemoglobinopathies, and Tay-Sachs disease
      • Include assessment of multifactorial congenital malformations, such as spina bifda, anencephaly, cleft palate and cleft lip, hypospadias, and congenital heart disease
      • Include assessment of familial diseases with a major genetic component, such as developmental disability, premature artherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, psychosis, epileptic disorders, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, deafness, and severe refractive disorders of the eye
      Ethnic history
      Establish risks associated with age (e g , women under age 15 or over age 35 may carry increased biological risks)
      Age
      Establish risks associated with age (e g , women under age 15 or over age 35 may carry increased biological risks)
      HEALTH HISTORY
      Chronic conditions
      • Assess the presence of chronic conditions that can affect a woman’s ability to conceive, as well as the use of medications in treatment of chronic disease and their potential effect on pregnancy such as teratogenicity
      • To be considered: diabetes mellitus, anemia, thyroid disorders, gynaecological disorders, hyperphenylalaninemia, asthma, sexually transmitted infections, heart disease, hypertension, deep venous thrombosis, kidney disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, epilepsy, hemoglobinopathies, cancer, seizure disorders, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and mental health/psychiatric disorders
      Infectious conditions
      • Identify women who are rubella- or varicella-susceptible If they are not actively attempting pregnancy, offer a vaccination
      • Identify and counsel women at risk for hepatitis B Routine pre-conception testing of all women with hepatitis B is not currently recommended
      • Counsel women to avoid exposure to cat feces and raw and undercooked meats Routine serologic testing for toxoplasmosis in the preconception period or in pregnancy is not recommended
      • Evaluate the woman and her partner for exposure to sexually transmitted infection (e g , chlamydia, HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis)
      Reproductive history
      • Collect information about menstrual, contraceptive, and sexual histories; infertility; abnormal Pap smears; and in utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol
      • Discuss past obstetric history, including early miscarriages; number of pregnancies; type of birth; length of labour; and specifc complications, such as premature labour or delivery, gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and postpartum depression
      • Discuss menstrual diffculties, specifcally excessive cyclic bleeding, amenorrhea, and oligomenorrhea.
      • Discuss gynaecological disease, such as endometriosis and pelvic infammatory disease.
      Lifestyle assessment
      • Assess lifestyle issues, including nutrition, physical activity, prescription and over-the-counter drug use, other substance use, and environmental exposures, current and past
      Pre-procedural counselling requires a very clear understanding by both the patient and the provider of the level of genetic testing or diagnosis that is offered or requested. The patient needs a clear explanation, at a level appropriate to her education, literacy, and language skills, of the screening test or fetal anomaly results that have led her to consider prenatal diagnostic fetal testing, so that she can provide informed consent.
      • Wilson R.D.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee. Genetic considerations for a woman's pre-conception evaluation.
      • Simpson J.L.
      Invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis: any future left.
      • Collins L.S.
      • Impey L.
      Prenatal diagnosis: types and techniques.
      • Tabor A.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Update on procedure-related risks for prenatal diagnosis techniques.
      • Dugoff L.
      • Hobbins J.C.
      Invasive procedures to evaluate the fetus.
      • Pitukkijronnakorn S.
      • Promsonthi P.
      • Panburana P.
      • Udomsubpayakul U.
      • Chittacharoen A.
      Fetal loss associated with second trimester amniocentesis.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Sundberg K.
      Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling for prenatal diagnosis.
      • Wilson R.D.
      • Langlois S.
      • Johnson J.
      SOGC Genetics Committee; CCMG Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Mid-trimester amniocentesis fetal loss rate.
      • Tabor A.
      • Vestergaard CH.F.
      • Lidegaard O.
      Fetal loss rate after chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis: an 11-year national registry study.
      • Basaran A.
      • Basaran M.
      • Topatan B.
      Chorionic villus sampling and the risk of preeclampsia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
      • Berry S.M.
      • Stone J.
      • Norton M.E.
      • Johnson D.
      • Berghella V.
      Fetal blood sampling.
      • Agarwal K.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Pregnancy loss after chorionic villus sampling and genetic amniocentesis in twin pregnancies: a systematic review.
      • Vink J.
      • Fuchs K.
      • D'Alton ME.
      Amniocentesis in twin pregnancies: a systematic review of the literature.
      • Cartier L.
      • Murphy-Kaulbeck L.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee. Counselling considerations for prenatal genetic screening.
      • Chitayat D.
      • Langlois S.
      • Wilson R.D.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee; Canadian College of Medical Geneticists Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Prenatal screening for fetal aneuploidy in singleton pregnancies.
      • Audibert F.
      • Gagnon A.
      • Wilson R.D.
      • Blight C.
      • Brock J.A.
      Prenatal Screening for and Diagnosis of Aneuploidy in Twin Pregnancies.
      The level and depth of the counselling care and information provided also depend on the expertise of the provider.
      • Langlois S.
      • Wilson R.D.
      Genetics Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada; Prenatal Diagnosis Committee of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists. Carrier screening for genetic disorders in individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.
      • Wilson R.D.
      SOGC Genetics Committee; SOGC Infectious Disease Committee. Principles of human teratology: drug, chemical and infectious exposure.
      • Langlois S.
      • Ford J.C.
      • Chitayat D.
      CCMG Prenatal Diagnosis Committee of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists. Carrier screening for thalassemia and hemoglobinopathies in Canada.
      • Chitayat D.
      • Wyatt P.R.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee; Canadian College of Medical Geneticists Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Fragile X testing in obstetrics and gynaecology in Canada.
      • Gagnon A.
      Genetics Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Evaluation of prenatally diagnosed structural congenital anomalies.
      • Lausman A.
      • Kingdom J.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Maternal Fetal Medicine Committee. Intrauterine growth restriction: screening, diagnosis and management.
      • Desilets V.
      • Audibert F.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee. Investigation and management of non-imcmune fetal hydrops.
      • Butt K.
      • Lim K.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Diagnostic Imaging Committee. Determination of gestational age by ultrasound.
      • Wilson R.D.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee. Genetic considerations for a woman's pre-conception evaluation.
      Once the criteria for offering prenatal invasive testing for an at-risk pregnancy have been met, counselling should include a verbal description, illustrated with diagrams or images, of the most appropriate prenatal procedure for the recommended or required diagnostic genetic testing.
      The evidence-based rates for spontaneous (no procedure) pregnancy loss summarized in Table 3may be used during procedure-related pregnancy loss counselling.
      • Wilcox A.J.
      • Weinberg C.R.
      • O'Connor J.F.
      • Baird D.D.
      • Schlatterer J.P.
      • Canfield R.E.
      Incidence of early loss of pregnancy.
      • Fantel A.G.
      • Shepart T.H.
      • Vadheim-Roth C.
      • Shepard T.H.
      • Coleman C.
      Embryonic and fetal phenotypes: prevalence and other associated factors in a large study of spontaneous abortion. In: Porter IH, Hook EM, editors.
      • Wilson R.D.
      • Kendrick V.
      • Wittmann B.K.
      • McGillivray B.
      Spontaneous abortion and pregnancy outcome after normal first-trimester ultrasound examination.
      • Wijesiriwardana A.
      • Bhattacharya S.
      • Shetty A.
      • Smith N.
      • Bhattacharya S.
      Obstetric outcome in women with threatened miscarriage in the first trimester.
      • Eiben B.
      • Bartels I.
      • Bähr-Prosch S.
      • Borgmann S.
      • Gatz G.
      • Gellert G.
      Cytogenetic analysis of 750 spontaneous abortions with the direct-preparation method of chorionic villi and its implications for studying genetic causes of pregnancy wastage.
      • Schrek R.
      • Silverman N.
      Chapter 37: fetal loss. In: Rimoin DL,Connor JM,Pyretz RE, Kork BR.Emery and Rimoin's principles and practice of medical genetics. 3rd ed.
      • Cunningham F.G.
      • Hollier L.M.
      Chapter 29: categories and causes of fetal death in diseases and injuries of the fetus and newborn. In: Cunningham FG,Leveno KJ, Bloom SL, Hauth JC, Rouse DJ, Spong CY, editors.
      • Eller A.G.
      • Branch D.W.
      • Byrne J.L.
      Stillbirth at term.
      • Reddy U.M.
      Predication and prevention of recurrent stillbirth.
      • Silver R.M.
      Fetal death.
      Table 3Pre-in utero genetic procedure counselling: estimated background loss etiology and rates for spontaneous pregnancy loss/abortion, clinical miscarriage, or fetal death with no prenatal diagnostic procedure
      SA: evidenced-based estimate: 25% to 30%
      • Wilcox A.J.
      • Weinberg C.R.
      • O'Connor J.F.
      • Baird D.D.
      • Schlatterer J.P.
      • Canfield R.E.
      Incidence of early loss of pregnancy.
      • Fantel A.G.
      • Shepart T.H.
      • Vadheim-Roth C.
      • Shepard T.H.
      • Coleman C.
      Embryonic and fetal phenotypes: prevalence and other associated factors in a large study of spontaneous abortion. In: Porter IH, Hook EM, editors.
      • Wilson R.D.
      • Kendrick V.
      • Wittmann B.K.
      • McGillivray B.
      Spontaneous abortion and pregnancy outcome after normal first-trimester ultrasound examination.
      • Eiben B.
      • Bartels I.
      • Bähr-Prosch S.
      • Borgmann S.
      • Gatz G.
      • Gellert G.
      Cytogenetic analysis of 750 spontaneous abortions with the direct-preparation method of chorionic villi and its implications for studying genetic causes of pregnancy wastage.
      • Schrek R.
      • Silverman N.
      Chapter 37: fetal loss. In: Rimoin DL,Connor JM,Pyretz RE, Kork BR.Emery and Rimoin's principles and practice of medical genetics. 3rd ed.
      • a
        Total CM: 25% to 31% 31% of pregnancies are lost after implantation (< 6 weeks: 18%; 6 to 9 weeks: 4%; > 9 weeks: 3%) CM risk decreases with increasing GA
      • b
        80% of SA loss occurs in frst trimester (50% chromosomal: 1st trimester 55%; 2nd trimester 35%; 3rd trimester 5%).
      • c
        Total SA loss of conceptions is 50% to 70% (as followed from conception/early implantation)
      • d
        Parental age effect risk:
        • Maternal age < 20 years: SA = 12%; > 40 years of age: SA = 26%
        • Paternal age < 20 years: SA 12%; > 40 years of age: SA = 20%


      • e
        Increased parity leads to an increase in SA loss beyond the risk associated with maternal age
      FD/loss rate after 10 gestational weeks: evidenced-based etiology/cause
      • Cunningham F.G.
      • Hollier L.M.
      Chapter 29: categories and causes of fetal death in diseases and injuries of the fetus and newborn. In: Cunningham FG,Leveno KJ, Bloom SL, Hauth JC, Rouse DJ, Spong CY, editors.
      • Eller A.G.
      • Branch D.W.
      • Byrne J.L.
      Stillbirth at term.
      • Reddy U.M.
      Predication and prevention of recurrent stillbirth.
      • Silver R.M.
      Fetal death.
      • Duncan A.
      • Langlois S.
      SOGC Genetics Committee; CCMG Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Use of array genomic hybridization technology in prenatal diagnosis in Canada.
      • a
        Fetal causes: 25% to 40% (chromosomal: birth defect NTD/CNS, cardiac, immune/non-immune hydrops, infection)
      • b
        Placental causes: 25% to 35% (abruption, PROM, implantation/growth issues, chorioamnionitis)
      • c
        Maternal causes: 5% to 10% (diabetes, hypertension, obesity, thyroid, renal, APA, thrombophilia) d Unexplained: 15% to 35%
      CM: clinical miscarriage; SA: spontaneous abortion; NTD: neural tube defect; CNS: central nervous system; PROM: premature rupture of the membranes; APA: atypical polypoid adenomyoma
      Test results and follow-up planning and counselling require a clear description of the time factors related to the diagnostic testing and its results.
      • Cartier L.
      • Murphy-Kaulbeck L.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee. Counselling considerations for prenatal genetic screening.
      This guideline is limited to the genetic diagnostic procedures of CVS, AC, and cordocentesis/PUBS and intended to assist providers in counselling women about targeted fetal genetic testing after a positive obstetrical screening test or the ultrasound identification of fetal anomalies. Routine pregnancy counselling and the offer of prenatal genetic screening have been previously reviewed and published in the SOGC Guideline, “Counselling Considerations for Prenatal Genetic Screening,”
      • Cartier L.
      • Murphy-Kaulbeck L.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee. Counselling considerations for prenatal genetic screening.
      and two separate guidelines for obstetrical aneuploidy screening in singleton and twin pregnancies.
      • Chitayat D.
      • Langlois S.
      • Wilson R.D.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee; Canadian College of Medical Geneticists Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Prenatal screening for fetal aneuploidy in singleton pregnancies.
      • Audibert F.
      • Gagnon A.
      • Wilson R.D.
      • Blight C.
      • Brock J.A.
      Prenatal Screening for and Diagnosis of Aneuploidy in Twin Pregnancies.
      Invasive in utero prenatal diagnosis techniques include CVS, AC, PUBS, and fetal tissue sampling (skin, muscle, kidney, liver, ascites, pleural effusion, urine). Some genetic or pathologic diagnostic results may be obtained by more than one technique; for example, fetal karyotype results can be obtained from CVS, AC, and PUBS, but each technique may be provided at different gestational ages.
      • Simpson J.L.
      Invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis: any future left.
      • Collins L.S.
      • Impey L.
      Prenatal diagnosis: types and techniques.
      • Tabor A.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Update on procedure-related risks for prenatal diagnosis techniques.
      • Dugoff L.
      • Hobbins J.C.
      Invasive procedures to evaluate the fetus.
      • Pitukkijronnakorn S.
      • Promsonthi P.
      • Panburana P.
      • Udomsubpayakul U.
      • Chittacharoen A.
      Fetal loss associated with second trimester amniocentesis.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Sundberg K.
      Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling for prenatal diagnosis.
      • Wilson R.D.
      • Langlois S.
      • Johnson J.
      SOGC Genetics Committee; CCMG Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Mid-trimester amniocentesis fetal loss rate.
      • Tabor A.
      • Vestergaard CH.F.
      • Lidegaard O.
      Fetal loss rate after chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis: an 11-year national registry study.
      • Basaran A.
      • Basaran M.
      • Topatan B.
      Chorionic villus sampling and the risk of preeclampsia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
      • Berry S.M.
      • Stone J.
      • Norton M.E.
      • Johnson D.
      • Berghella V.
      Fetal blood sampling.
      • Agarwal K.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Pregnancy loss after chorionic villus sampling and genetic amniocentesis in twin pregnancies: a systematic review.
      • Vink J.
      • Fuchs K.
      • D'Alton ME.
      Amniocentesis in twin pregnancies: a systematic review of the literature.

      What level of genetic testing analysis does the patient need or want? A risk assessment summary

      Maternal and paternal testing need to be specifically directed but are based on past family, ethnic, and obstetrical outcomes history and present pregnancy indications (Table 2).
      • Wilson R.D.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee. Genetic considerations for a woman's pre-conception evaluation.
      Table 4Checklist: reproductive genetics for in utero diagnostic prenatal testing
      The available prenatal genetic fetal testing levels must be clear to the patient because they include details ranging from standard or basic to increased levels of molecular complexity. The following levels of testing should be explained:
      • a.
        numerical assessment of chromosomes 13, 18, 21, X, and Y by quantitative fluorescence-polymerase chain reaction or FISH;
      • b.
        fetal karyotype testing for only the number of chromosomes or chromosome pairs and detection of large chromosome rearrangements, deletions, or duplications;
      • c.
        fetal karyotype testing (as in the previous point) with specific directed testing for molecular chromosomal deletions or duplications related to past obstetrical or family history or present fetal anomaly:
        Deletions (interstitial p or q chromosome arm location; terminal and subtelomeric location) should be discussed with examples of their associated anomalies, such as:
        • del(22q11.2) Di George syndrome: cardiac anomaly, thymic hypoplasia, parathyroid dysfunction, cleft palate, distinctive face;
        • del(7q11.23) Williams syndrome: cardiac anomaly, characteristic facies, developmental delay; and
        • del(17p13.3) Miller-Dieker syndrome: cardiac anomaly, omphalocele, joint contractures, characteristic facies.
        Duplications (interstitial, direct “abab” or inverted “abba”, and terminal and subtelomeric location) should be discussed, including fetal karyotype (as above) with use of an expanded detailed chromosomal microarray (array genomic hybridization) when fetal anomalies are identified.
        • Duncan A.
        • Langlois S.
        SOGC Genetics Committee; CCMG Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Use of array genomic hybridization technology in prenatal diagnosis in Canada.
        • Wapner R.J.
        • Martin C.L.
        • Levy B.
        • Ballif B.C.
        • Eng C.M.
        • Zachary J.M.
        Chromosomal microarray versus karyotyping for prenatal diagnosis.
        • Donnelly J.C.
        • Platt L.D.
        • Rebarber A.
        • Zachary J.
        • Grobman W.A.
        • Wapner R.J.
        Association of copy number variants with specific ultrasonographically detected fetal anomalies.
      • d.
        prenatal chromosomal microarray identified clinically relevant deletions or duplications in 1.7% of cases with normal karyotype in a prenatal population with a positive genetic screen (maternal age or positive screen in the1st or 2nd trimester) as the indication for conducting a prenatal karyotype:
        This enhanced genetic analysis requires continued directed research during its introduction as part of the routine evaluation. In the same study, the prenatal chromosomal microarray identified an additional 6.0% of cases with a clinically relevant deletion or duplication that was not identified by the standard karyotype when fetal anomalies were the indication for a prenatal karyotype.
        • Wapner R.J.
        • Martin C.L.
        • Levy B.
        • Ballif B.C.
        • Eng C.M.
        • Zachary J.M.
        Chromosomal microarray versus karyotyping for prenatal diagnosis.
        Ultrasound-detected fetal anomalies from the NICHD Microarray Trial36 were analyzed according to the additional microarray genetic pathology and the fetal organ system involved.37 For the 1082 fetuses with anomalies, 752 had a normal karyotype. Clinically significant copy number variants were present in 61 of the euploid fetuses (8.1%). CSCNVs were present in 13% of fetuses with multiple system anomalies compared with 3.6% of fetuses with no anomalies(P < 0.001). For isolated anomalies, the CSCNVs were nominally significant for renal (P = 0.04) and cardiac (P = 0.01). Other anomalies were small in number and did not meet statistical significance.

        Recommendation

        1. The health care provider should counsel the at-risk pregnant woman on the different levels of genetic fetal testing in order for her to have a clear understanding and expectation of the level of testing and type of results that are offered. (III-B)
      • e.
        fetal karyotype with more directed complex or detailed genetic testing because of past reproductive outcome, family history, extended and complex fetal differential diagnosis based on prenatal findings, or personal informed choice:
        • Talkowski M.E.
        • Ordulu Z.
        • Pillalamarri V.
        • Benson C.B.
        • Blumenthal I.
        • Connolly S.
        Clinical diagnosis by whole-genome sequencing of a prenatal sample.
        • Yang Y.
        • Muzny D.M.
        • Reid J.G.
        • Bainbridge M.N.
        • Willis A.
        • Ward P.A.
        Clinical whole-exome sequencing for the diagnosis of Mendelian disorders.
        • Van den Hof M.
        • Demiancziuk N.
        • Bly S.
        • Gagnon R.
        • Lewthwaite B.
        Fetal sex determination and disclosure.
        Evaluation data on the use of whole-exome sequencing in pediatric patients with a suspected Mendelian disorder is lending support for the use of this new technology in the prenatal population. In a cohort of 250 children (80% with a neurological phenotype), 86 mutated alleles were found that were highly likely to be causative in 62 of the 250 patients. The result indicated a 25% molecular diagnostic rate (95% CI 20 to 31) with 33 autosomal dominant, 16 autosomal recessive, and 9 X-linked conditions.
        • Yang Y.
        • Muzny D.M.
        • Reid J.G.
        • Bainbridge M.N.
        • Willis A.
        • Ward P.A.
        Clinical whole-exome sequencing for the diagnosis of Mendelian disorders.
      • f.
        other directed genetic diagnosis required for familial or parental carrier(s) of autosomal recessive (more common), X-linked, or autosomal diseases
        • Langlois S.
        • Ford J.C.
        • Chitayat D.
        CCMG Prenatal Diagnosis Committee of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists. Carrier screening for thalassemia and hemoglobinopathies in Canada.
        • Chitayat D.
        • Wyatt P.R.
        Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee; Canadian College of Medical Geneticists Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Fragile X testing in obstetrics and gynaecology in Canada.
      • g.
        fetal sexing only limited to X-linked genetic risk assessment.
        • Van den Hof M.
        • Demiancziuk N.
        • Bly S.
        • Gagnon R.
        • Lewthwaite B.
        Fetal sex determination and disclosure.
      A prenatal invasive diagnostic procedure counselling checklist (Table 4) has been created to assist the maternity care provider with the primary stages of counselling prior to referral, regional or tertiary centre counselling, and informed consent.

      What is the possible etiology for the screen positive result or the structural fetal pathology leading to the consideration of an invasive diagnostic procedure?

      Correct gestational dating is required for accurate genetic assessment and evaluation. Butt et al.8 provided evidence-based recommendations related to the timing (1st and 2nd trimester) of dating ultrasounds.
      Ultrasound, ideally performed at 18 to 22 weeks’ gestation, is the primary imaging screening and diagnostic tool recommended for fetal anatomy, number, and growth. MRI is used as a second-tier imaging modality, following an abnormal ultrasound; it is usually performed after 22 weeks’ gestation.
      Major fetal congenital anomalies (malformation, disruption, deformation, dysplasia) occur in an estimated 5% of all live births (3% are identifiable prenatally and 2% at birth or during the first year of life, as some anomalies will have a functional component with no obvious structural change). Minor structural anomalies are becoming more identifiable with improved ultrasound technology, allowing for more detailed facial, CNS, and cardiac imaging.
      The most commonly recognized etiologies for fetal anomalies are chromosomal abnormalities, teratogenic exposure (drugs, chemical, infectious), maternal co-morbidities (maternal age > 35 years, diabetes, epilepsy, hypertension), deformations or disruptions (structural uterine anomalies, oligohydramnios, monochorionic twinning abnormalities) and placental abnormalities.
      • Wilson R.D.
      SOGC Genetics Committee; SOGC Infectious Disease Committee. Principles of human teratology: drug, chemical and infectious exposure.
      • Gagnon A.
      Genetics Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Evaluation of prenatally diagnosed structural congenital anomalies.
      • Lausman A.
      • Kingdom J.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Maternal Fetal Medicine Committee. Intrauterine growth restriction: screening, diagnosis and management.
      • Desilets V.
      • Audibert F.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee. Investigation and management of non-imcmune fetal hydrops.
      Confined placental mosaicism is normally present in 1% to 2% of placentas, where it is limited to the placenta and the fetus is chromosomally numerically normal but may have a genetic anomaly such as uniparental disomy. This placental and embryonic biological discordance will have a possible impact on invasive CVS trophoblastic analysis. True fetal mosaicism is rare, so AC will sometimes, be affected, but minimally.
      • Wilson R.D.
      Genetics Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Amended Canadian guideline for prenatal diagnosis (2005) - techniques for prenatal diagnosis.
      The pregnant woman identified to have an aneuploidy screen positive result or an ultrasound with a fetal anomaly or anomalies requires reproductive genetic counselling so that she has a clear understanding of her a priori risk assessment for fetal pathology and outcome, which will allow her to make an informed choice in regard to in utero diagnostic testing (Table 2, Table 3, Table 4).

      Techniques 101: for patient and family risk counselling and discussion of technique

      All of the in utero diagnostic techniques (AC, CVS, PUBS)
      • Simpson J.L.
      Invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis: any future left.
      • Agarwal K.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Pregnancy loss after chorionic villus sampling and genetic amniocentesis in twin pregnancies: a systematic review.
      are done under continuous ultrasound guidance, thereby minimizing any unintended fetal damage or injury. Prophylactic antibiotics are not required for the procedure. Patients are recommended to consider decreased physical activity for 12 to 24 hours after the procedure, but bed rest is not required.
      The in utero prenatal diagnosis techniques of AC and CVS are used for both singleton and twin pregnancies, and PUBS is used in singleton and dichorionic twin pregnancies.
      AC is the most common in utero prenatal testing technique, and it is recommended for use after 15 weeks’ gestation, usually with a 22-gauge spinal needle with stylet to obtain the specimen of AF. During AC, placental puncture with the needle should be avoided if possible. Sterile technique is recommended, with the use of abdominal antiseptic cleaning, gloves, sterile drapes, and a sterile ultrasound probe cover. Maternal local anaesthetic is not usually required. A single needle is usually inserted, and the AF volume removed is 15 to 25 cc depending on the fetal testing required. Testing is usually from amniocytes (fetal origin from skin or bladder) for chromosome analysis and from protein, biochemical, or enzymatic analysis of the AF supernatant. Results are usually available after 1 to 3 weeks. Spotting, bleeding, or fluid leakage after AC is estimated at 1% to 5% and is usually limited with decreased activity.
      • Simpson J.L.
      Invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis: any future left.
      • Collins L.S.
      • Impey L.
      Prenatal diagnosis: types and techniques.
      • Tabor A.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Update on procedure-related risks for prenatal diagnosis techniques.
      • Dugoff L.
      • Hobbins J.C.
      Invasive procedures to evaluate the fetus.
      • Pitukkijronnakorn S.
      • Promsonthi P.
      • Panburana P.
      • Udomsubpayakul U.
      • Chittacharoen A.
      Fetal loss associated with second trimester amniocentesis.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Sundberg K.
      Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling for prenatal diagnosis.
      • Wilson R.D.
      • Langlois S.
      • Johnson J.
      SOGC Genetics Committee; CCMG Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Mid-trimester amniocentesis fetal loss rate.
      • Tabor A.
      • Vestergaard CH.F.
      • Lidegaard O.
      Fetal loss rate after chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis: an 11-year national registry study.
      ,
      • Agarwal K.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Pregnancy loss after chorionic villus sampling and genetic amniocentesis in twin pregnancies: a systematic review.
      ,
      • Van den Hof M.
      • Demiancziuk N.
      • Bly S.
      • Gagnon R.
      • Lewthwaite B.
      Fetal sex determination and disclosure.
      • Wilson R.D.
      Genetics Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Amended Canadian guideline for prenatal diagnosis (2005) - techniques for prenatal diagnosis.
      • Nizard J.
      Amniocentesis: technique and education.
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Technique modifications for reducing the risks from amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (review).
      • Tabor A.
      • Madsen M.
      • Obel E.
      • Philip J.
      • Bang J.
      • Norgaard-Pedersen B.
      Randomised controlled trial of genetic amniocentesis in 4606 low-risk women.
      • Jenkins T.M.
      • Wapner R.J.
      The challenge of prenatal diagnosis in twin pregnancies.
      • Yukobowich E.
      • Anteby E.Y.
      • Cohen S.M.
      • Lavy Y.
      • Granat M.
      • Yagel S.
      Risk of fetal loss in twin pregnancies undergoing second trimester amniocentesis.
      • Cahill A.G.
      • Macones G.A.
      • Stamilio D.M.
      • Dicke J.M.
      • Crane J.P.
      • Odibo A.O.
      Pregnancy loss rate after mid-trimester amniocentesis in twin pregnancies.
      • Millaire M.
      • Bujold E.
      • Morency A.M.
      • Gauthier R.J.
      Mid-trimester genetic amniocentesis in twin pregnancy and the risk of fetal loss.
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Procedure-related complications of amniocentesis and chorionic villous sampling: a systematic review.
      Early AC at 12 to 15 weeks’ gestation is not recommended due to an increased risk of pregnancy loss and fetal talipes (club foot) secondary to temporary or intermittent oligohydramnios.
      • Simpson J.L.
      Invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis: any future left.
      CVS is the recommended first trimester in utero technique. TCCVS (at 10 to 13+6 weeks’ gestation) is an ultrasound-guided technique using a flexible catheter and syringe suction or metal biopsy forceps to obtain placental tissue. TACVS (at 10 to 36 weeks’ gestation) is an ultrasound-guided technique using an 18- to 20-gauge needle and syringe suction to obtain the placental tissue. Because of the larger needle gauge used in TACVS and the aspirating needle movement within the placenta, local anaesthesia may be required depending on patient need. Karyotype results and time to result availability are similar using either approach. TCCVS has an estimated post-procedural risk of vaginal spotting or minimal bleeding of 10% to 20%, while TACVS has more post-procedural uterine discomfort and cramping.
      • Simpson J.L.
      Invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis: any future left.
      • Collins L.S.
      • Impey L.
      Prenatal diagnosis: types and techniques.
      • Tabor A.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Update on procedure-related risks for prenatal diagnosis techniques.
      • Dugoff L.
      • Hobbins J.C.
      Invasive procedures to evaluate the fetus.
      ,
      • Tabor A.
      • Vestergaard CH.F.
      • Lidegaard O.
      Fetal loss rate after chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis: an 11-year national registry study.
      ,
      • Basaran A.
      • Basaran M.
      • Topatan B.
      Chorionic villus sampling and the risk of preeclampsia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
      ,
      • Agarwal K.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Pregnancy loss after chorionic villus sampling and genetic amniocentesis in twin pregnancies: a systematic review.
      ,
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Technique modifications for reducing the risks from amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (review).
      ,
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Procedure-related complications of amniocentesis and chorionic villous sampling: a systematic review.
      • Blumenfeld Y.J.
      • Chueh J.
      Chorionic villus sampling: technique and training.
      • Young C.
      • von Dadelszen P.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Instruments for chorionic villus sampling for prenatal diagnosis.
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Analgesia for amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.
      • Lim K.
      • Omidakhsh N.
      • Hutcheon J.
      • Lee B.
      • Gong J.
      • Gagnon A.
      Abstract 141: CVS loss and complication rates: operator dependent factors.
      • Lim K.
      • Omidakhsh N.
      • Hutcheon J.
      • Lee B.
      • Gong J.
      • Gagnon A.
      Abstract 142: Technical factors contributing to procedure-related loss and complication rates following transcervical chorionic villus sampling.
      • De Catte L.
      • Liebaers I.
      • Foulon W.
      • Bonduelle M.
      • Van Assce E.
      First trimester chorionic villus sampling in twin gestations.
      • De Catt L.
      • Liebears I.
      • Foulon W.
      Outcome of twin gestations after first trimester chorionic villus sampling.
      Four Cochrane systematic reviews have evaluated various aspects of the invasive prenatal diagnosis techniques:
      Alfirevic et al.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Sundberg K.
      Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling for prenatal diagnosis.
      concluded that “second trimester amniocentesis is safer than early amniocentesis or transcervical CVS, and is the procedure of choice for second trimester testing. Transabdominal CVS should be regarded as the procedure of first choice when testing before 15 weeks gestation. Diagnostic accuracy of different methods could not be assessed adequately because of incomplete karyotype data in most studies.”
      Mujezinovic and Alfirevic
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Analgesia for amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.
      concluded that “in general, women that undergo amniocentesis could be informed that pain during the procedure is minor and that there is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of local anaesthetics, leg rubbing or subfreezing the needle for pain reduction during procedure.”
      Mujezinovic and Alfirevic
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Technique modifications for reducing the risks from amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (review).
      examined technique variations or modifications for reducing the risks from AC or CVS, and found that, “in the absence of clear evidence, the operators should continue to use methods and technique modifications with which they are most familiar”.
      Young et al.
      • Young C.
      • von Dadelszen P.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Instruments for chorionic villus sampling for prenatal diagnosis.
      concluded that “for transcervical CVS, the evidence is not strong enough to support a change in practice for clinicians who have become familiar with a particular technique. Based on current evidence, there is no difference in clinically important outcomes with the use of a continuous compared with a discontinuous negative pressure needle aspiration system.”
      Cordocentesis or PUBS is usually performed after 18 weeks’ gestation and is used for both fetal diagnosis and fetal therapy (intrauterine fetal transfusion). It is a continuous ultrasound-guided technique with a 20- to 22-gauge needle being directed, preferentially, into the umbilical cord vein. Puncture of the umbilical artery can cause umbilical arterial constriction with possible fetal cardiac dysfunction. Needle puncture sites are variable and depend upon the provider’s preference at the fixed placental umbilical cord insertion site, the fetal intrahepatic vein, or a free loop of umbilical cord usually pinned against the fetus, placenta, or uterine wall to allow venipuncture. A recent systematic review of the technique
      • Berry S.M.
      • Stone J.
      • Norton M.E.
      • Johnson D.
      • Berghella V.
      Fetal blood sampling.
      details the risks and benefits of this technique usually offered by trained and experienced providers.

      Invasive prenatal diagnosis technique: risk/benefit summaries

      Table 5summarizes risk/benefit studies of AC. Additional risk details for AC include:
      Table 5Amniocentesis procedure
      • Simpson J.L.
      Invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis: any future left.
      • Collins L.S.
      • Impey L.
      Prenatal diagnosis: types and techniques.
      • Tabor A.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Update on procedure-related risks for prenatal diagnosis techniques.
      • Dugoff L.
      • Hobbins J.C.
      Invasive procedures to evaluate the fetus.
      • Pitukkijronnakorn S.
      • Promsonthi P.
      • Panburana P.
      • Udomsubpayakul U.
      • Chittacharoen A.
      Fetal loss associated with second trimester amniocentesis.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Sundberg K.
      Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling for prenatal diagnosis.
      • Wilson R.D.
      • Langlois S.
      • Johnson J.
      SOGC Genetics Committee; CCMG Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Mid-trimester amniocentesis fetal loss rate.
      • Tabor A.
      • Vestergaard CH.F.
      • Lidegaard O.
      Fetal loss rate after chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis: an 11-year national registry study.
      • Agarwal K.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Pregnancy loss after chorionic villus sampling and genetic amniocentesis in twin pregnancies: a systematic review.
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Technique modifications for reducing the risks from amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (review).
      • Tabor A.
      • Madsen M.
      • Obel E.
      • Philip J.
      • Bang J.
      • Norgaard-Pedersen B.
      Randomised controlled trial of genetic amniocentesis in 4606 low-risk women.
      • Jenkins T.M.
      • Wapner R.J.
      The challenge of prenatal diagnosis in twin pregnancies.
      • Yukobowich E.
      • Anteby E.Y.
      • Cohen S.M.
      • Lavy Y.
      • Granat M.
      • Yagel S.
      Risk of fetal loss in twin pregnancies undergoing second trimester amniocentesis.
      • Cahill A.G.
      • Macones G.A.
      • Stamilio D.M.
      • Dicke J.M.
      • Crane J.P.
      • Odibo A.O.
      Pregnancy loss rate after mid-trimester amniocentesis in twin pregnancies.
      • Millaire M.
      • Bujold E.
      • Morency A.M.
      • Gauthier R.J.
      Mid-trimester genetic amniocentesis in twin pregnancy and the risk of fetal loss.
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Procedure-related complications of amniocentesis and chorionic villous sampling: a systematic review.
      • Blumenfeld Y.J.
      • Chueh J.
      Chorionic villus sampling: technique and training.
      Indications: increased risk of fetal chromosomal or genetic pathology based on previous obstetrical or family history, maternal age, positive aneuploidy screening test, single or multiple major congenital anomalies, parental chromosomal translocation carrierSingletonTwin
      Gestational age range: second and third trimesters

      (Early amniocentesis at 12 to 15 weeks is not acceptable care )
      ≥ 15 to 38 weeks’ gestation

      Overall distribution of gestational age at the time of amniocentesis from a 32 852 cohort (1996-2006)
      • Tabor A.
      • Vestergaard CH.F.
      • Lidegaard O.
      Fetal loss rate after chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis: an 11-year national registry study.
      • < 15 weeks (21 6%)
      • ≥ 15 weeks (78.4%)
      ≥ 15 to 38 weeks’ gestation
      Risk of miscarriage above the estimated background rate or as the loss rate (total or at a specifc GA beyond procedural related affect, related to maternal age, GA at procedure, indication for procedure, provider experience)
      • Estimated total singleton procedure loss risk is 0 5% to 1 0% (range 0 17 to 1 5%)
      • Single RCT
        • Pitukkijronnakorn S.
        • Promsonthi P.
        • Panburana P.
        • Udomsubpayakul U.
        • Chittacharoen A.
        Fetal loss associated with second trimester amniocentesis.
        : Total pregnancy loss difference post-procedure was 1 0% (95% CI 0 3 to 1 5%)
      • Post-amniocentesis loss rate (1 7%) versus spontaneous loss rate with no amniocentesis (0 7%)
      • Cohort summary
        • Wilson R.D.
        • Langlois S.
        • Johnson J.
        SOGC Genetics Committee; CCMG Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Mid-trimester amniocentesis fetal loss rate.
        : Pregnancy loss attributable to amniocentesis procedure: 0 6 to 1 0% (range 0 19 to 1 53%)
      Estimated “attributable” twin procedure risk
      • Yukobowich E.
      • Anteby E.Y.
      • Cohen S.M.
      • Lavy Y.
      • Granat M.
      • Yagel S.
      Risk of fetal loss in twin pregnancies undergoing second trimester amniocentesis.
      • Cahill A.G.
      • Macones G.A.
      • Stamilio D.M.
      • Dicke J.M.
      • Crane J.P.
      • Odibo A.O.
      Pregnancy loss rate after mid-trimester amniocentesis in twin pregnancies.
      • Millaire M.
      • Bujold E.
      • Morency A.M.
      • Gauthier R.J.
      Mid-trimester genetic amniocentesis in twin pregnancy and the risk of fetal loss.
      :

      • twin amniocentesis 2 7%
      • twin no amniocentesis 0 6%


      Systematic review
      • Agarwal K.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Pregnancy loss after chorionic villus sampling and genetic amniocentesis in twin pregnancies: a systematic review.


      Pregnancy loss (23/632)
      • OR 3 07% (95% CI 1 83 to 4 61)
        Fetal loss (87/1741)
      • OR 4 14% (95% CI 1 91 to 7 15)
        Meta-analysis of 2026 twin pregnancies with amniocentesis
        • Mujezinovic F.
        • Alfirevic Z.
        Procedure-related complications of amniocentesis and chorionic villous sampling: a systematic review.
      • OR 2 42% (95% CI 1 24 to 4 74)


      Procedure loss with chorionicity separation is very limited with no defned estimation
      Fetal anomaly disruptive riskNo riskNo risk
      Probability of successful procedure (counselling point)With a skilled provider > 99%, unless chorion-amnion separation occurs> 99%

      But possible difference for MC and DC twins
      Time to laboratory diagnosisStandard time for rapid < 24 hrs and culture in 1 to 3 weeksStandard time for rapid < 24 hrs and culture in 1 to 3 weeks
      Accuracy (chromosomes/aneuploidy/ translocation)Highly accurate for large chromosomal pathologyHighly accurate for large chromosomal pathology
      Other lab-based testing

      Microarray

      Whole genome sequencing
      Yes

      Yes
      Yes

      Yes
      Lab-based fndings

      • Mosaicism
      • AFP
      • AChE
      • Other
      • True fetal mosaicism is rare
      • Possible
      • Possible
      • Other AF products from fetal urine and respiratory sources can be measured
      • True fetal mosaicism is rare
      • Possible
      • Possible
      • Other AF products from fetal urine and respiratory sources can be measured
      Other post procedural risksAF leakage: talipes at 15 to 16 weeks: 1 7%–2 4% to 0 2%–0 8% (early amniocentesis at 12 to 15 weeks is no longer acceptable care )Background “no procedure” loss rate for twins is estimated to be higher than for singletons; probable background chorionicity loss rate is higher in MC than DC
      AFP: alpha-fetoprotein; AChE: acetylcholinesterase; MC monochorionic; DC: dichorionic; AF: amniotic fuid
      • procedure-related loss difference with maternal age > 35 years14:––< 24 weeks 0.17% (0.37; 0.20)––< 28 weeks 0.50% (1.37; 0.87)
      • singleton loss rates
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Procedure-related complications of amniocentesis and chorionic villous sampling: a systematic review.
      total post amniocentesis pregnancy loss: 1.9% (1.4 to 2.5)––pregnancy loss < 24 weeks post/amniocentesis: 1.3% (1.0 to 1.7)
      • total post-procedural rates17 of: ––miscarriage: 1.2% to 1.5% –– intrauterine death: 0.5% to 0.9%––termination: 2.5% to 5.7%––live birth: 92.1% to 95.5%
      • maternal age at procedure and total post-procedural loss rates17: ––age < 30: 1.5%––age 30 to 34: 1.3%––age > 34: 1.4%
      • twin loss rates49:––total post AC pregnancy loss: 3.07% (1.83 to 4.61)––pregnancy loss < 24 weeks post AC:2.54% (1.43 to 3.96)
      Table 6summarizes risk/benefit studies of CVS.
      • Chitayat D.
      • Langlois S.
      • Wilson R.D.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee; Canadian College of Medical Geneticists Prenatal Diagnosis Committee. Prenatal screening for fetal aneuploidy in singleton pregnancies.
      • Fantel A.G.
      • Shepart T.H.
      • Vadheim-Roth C.
      • Shepard T.H.
      • Coleman C.
      Embryonic and fetal phenotypes: prevalence and other associated factors in a large study of spontaneous abortion. In: Porter IH, Hook EM, editors.
      • Schrek R.
      • Silverman N.
      Chapter 37: fetal loss. In: Rimoin DL,Connor JM,Pyretz RE, Kork BR.Emery and Rimoin's principles and practice of medical genetics. 3rd ed.
      • Cunningham F.G.
      • Hollier L.M.
      Chapter 29: categories and causes of fetal death in diseases and injuries of the fetus and newborn. In: Cunningham FG,Leveno KJ, Bloom SL, Hauth JC, Rouse DJ, Spong CY, editors.
      • Reddy U.M.
      Predication and prevention of recurrent stillbirth.
      • Nizard J.
      Amniocentesis: technique and education.
      • Millaire M.
      • Bujold E.
      • Morency A.M.
      • Gauthier R.J.
      Mid-trimester genetic amniocentesis in twin pregnancy and the risk of fetal loss.
      • De Catt L.
      • Liebears I.
      • Foulon W.
      Outcome of twin gestations after first trimester chorionic villus sampling.
      Table 6CVS (TA/TC) procedures
      Indications: increased risk of fetal chromosomal or genetic pathology based on previous obstetrical or family history, maternal age, positive aneuploidy screening test, single or multiple major congenital anomalies, parental chromosomal translocation carrierSingletonTwins (MC/DC)
      Gestational age range: frst to third trimesterTA: 10 to 32 weeks

      TC: 10 to 11+6 weeks
      TA: 10 to 32 weeks

      TC: 10 to 11+6 weeks
      Risk of miscarriage: above the estimated background rate or as the loss rate (total or at a specifc GA beyond procedure-related effects) related to maternal age, GA at procedure, indication for procedure, provider experience
      • Estimated added post-procedure loss rate is 0 5% to 1 0% or total spontaneous and procedure loss rate is 1 9% to 2 0% Estimated added risk
        • Alfirevic Z.
        • Sundberg K.
        • Brigham S.
        Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling for prenatal diagnosis.
        :
      • Total fetal loss rate for TA CVS = second trimester amniocentesis rate RR 0 9 (95% CI 0 66 to 1 23):
      • TA: 1% to 2%
      • TC: 2% to 6%
      • TC increased fetal loss by OR 1 40 (95% CI: 1 09 to 1 81)
      • Background spontaneous pregnancy and fetal loss rate is increased for twins Twin systematic review
        • Simpson J.L.
        Invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis: any future left.
        post procedure:
      • Total pregnancy loss: OR 3 84% (95% CI 2 48 to 5 47)
      • Total fetal loss: OR 5 48% (95% CI 4 06 to 7 13)
      Risk of congenital fetal disruptive anomalyLimb reduction < 9 weeks (66 days) (estimated at 1 in 3000) possible hemangiomaLimb reduction < 9 weeks (66 days) (estimated at 1 in 3000) possible hemangioma
      Probability of successful procedureWith a skilled provider > 99% with combination of both TC and TA techniques or approach> 99% with combination of both TC and TA techniques and/or approach
      Time to laboratory diagnosis2 to 3 weeks (rapid direct FISH/PCR techniques can be used as required)2 to 3 weeks (rapid direct FISH/PCR techniques can be used as required)
      Accuracy (chromosomes/aneuploidy/ translocation)Highly accurate for large chromosomal pathologyHighly accurate for large chromosomal pathology
      Other lab based testing

      microarray

      whole genome sequencing
      Yes

      Yes
      Yes

      Yes
      Lab-based fndings

      • Mosaicism
      • AFP
      • AChE
      • Other
      • Confned to placenta; 1% to 2%
      • No
      • No
      • Placenta-based genetic/biochemistry/enzyme
      • Confned to placenta; 1% to 2%
      • No
      • No
      • Placenta-based genetic/biochemistry/enzyme
      Other procedural risk

      RR: relative risk
      There is no preeclampsia-induced or -associated risk with CVS The frst-trimester placental analytes result in screen positive results that require diagnostic testing by CVS
      Additional details of CVS risk include:
      • singleton loss rates:49 ––total post CVS pregnancy loss: 2.0% (1.4 to 2.6)––pregnancy loss rate < 20 weeks post CVS:0.8% (0.2 to 1.7)––pregnancy loss rate < 24 weeks post CVS: 1.3% (amnio 0.9%)
      • total post procedure rates
      • Tabor A.
      • Vestergaard CH.F.
      • Lidegaard O.
      Fetal loss rate after chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis: an 11-year national registry study.
      of: ––miscarriage: 1.6% to 2.4%––intrauterine death: 0.4% to 0.5%––termination: 3.8% to 10.1%––live birth: 87.6% to 94.3%
      • maternal age at procedure and total post procedure loss rates:––age > 30: 1.5%––age 30 to 34: 1.7%––age > 34: 2.0%
      CVS operator experience and safety improved with higher annual numbers and combined TA/TC experience versus TC alone.
      • Lim K.
      • Omidakhsh N.
      • Hutcheon J.
      • Lee B.
      • Gong J.
      • Gagnon A.
      Abstract 141: CVS loss and complication rates: operator dependent factors.
      Significantly increased TCCVS post-procedural pregnancy loss rates and complications are associated with the number of cervical passages: > 1 pass, OR for loss is 3.96 (P = 0.01) and for complication is 2.76 (P = 0.02)
      • Lim K.
      • Omidakhsh N.
      • Hutcheon J.
      • Lee B.
      • Gong J.
      • Gagnon A.
      Abstract 142: Technical factors contributing to procedure-related loss and complication rates following transcervical chorionic villus sampling.
      • twin loss rates
      • Mujezinovic F.
      • Alfirevic Z.
      Procedure-related complications of amniocentesis and chorionic villous sampling: a systematic review.
      post CVS pregnancy loss: 3.84% (2.48 to 5.47)––pregnancy loss < 20 weeks: 2.75% (1.28 to 4.75)
      The relative risk for CVS technique in twins (TA > TC) is 2.08 (0.73 to 5.91; total fetal loss: TA 7.09% [10/141] and TC 3.94% [5/127]).
      • De Catte L.
      • Liebaers I.
      • Foulon W.
      • Bonduelle M.
      • Van Assce E.
      First trimester chorionic villus sampling in twin gestations.
      • De Catt L.
      • Liebears I.
      • Foulon W.
      Outcome of twin gestations after first trimester chorionic villus sampling.
      The data available for cordocentesis/PUBS is presented in Table 7. The introduction of non-invasive prenatal testing for fetal trisomy screening in low-risk (no added history or pregnancy-related risk) and high-risk (obstetrical screen positive or maternal age) populations will decrease the number of invasive procedures requested or required. This impact will be primarily on AC and CVS. This decrease in procedures will impact training and maintenance of skills for invasive procedure providers.
      • Langlois S.
      • Brock J.A.
      Genetics Committee of the Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada. Current status in non-invasive prenatal detection of Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and trisomy 13 using cell-free DNA in maternal plasma.

      Recommendation

      2. The health care provider should counsel the at-risk pregnant woman with regards to the in utero genetic diagnosis techniques(s) associated with the fetal genetic testing options, and review the risks/benefits as part of the informed consent process. (III-A)3. During risk/benefit counselling, the health care provider should advise that the best estimate of the pregnancy loss rate related to:a. amniocentesis is 0.5% to 1.0% (range 0.17 to 1.53%) (I)b. chorionic villus sampling is 0.5% to 1.0% (I) andc. cordocentesis or percutaneous umbilical blood sampling is 1.3% for fetuses with no anomalies and 1.3% to 25% for fetuses with single or multiple anomalies or intrauterine growth restriction. (II-2A) (III-B)
      Table 7Risk/benefit data for cordocentesis/PUBS
      • Cartier L.
      • Murphy-Kaulbeck L.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee. Counselling considerations for prenatal genetic screening.
      Indications: suspected fetal anemia; NAIT; NIH; aneuploidy; fetal Bg platelets; genetic analysis (mutation, biochemistry); fetal therapyPUBS is generally used for singleton fetal blood sampling only
      Gestational age range18 to 24 weeks

      > 24 weeks
      22-gauge needle (smaller)

      20-gauge needle
      Total risk of miscarriage18 to 24 weeks increased risk

      No anomalies: 1%

      Anomalies: 7%

      IUGR: 14%

      Hydrops: 25%
      Consensus

      No anomalies: 1 3%

      Fetal pathology: > 1 3%
      Fetal anomaly disruptive riskIncreased risk if sustained bleeding from cord with signifcant anemia and/or hypotension
      Probability of successful procedure (counselling points)With a skilled provider, greater than 98%

      A small specimen can be confrmed in the lab to be fetal blood through testing for red blood cell MCV or Kleihauer-Betke criteria

      The best fetal vessel locations or sources the provider may choose from are the intra-hepatic vein, the fetal abdominal cord insertion site, the free cord loop, or fetal cardiac ventricule (right or left)
      Time to laboratory diagnosisBased on hematologic, biochemical, or genetic testing requested but similar to neonatal results
      Accuracy (chromosomes) aneuploidy/translocationHighly accurate for large chromosomal pathology
      Other lab-based testing

      Microarray

      Whole genome sequencing
      Highly accurate: additive genetic information with standard normal karyotype
      • Wilson R.D.
      Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Genetics Committee. Genetic considerations for a woman's pre-conception evaluation.


      • With advanced maternal age and/or positive screen 1 7%
      • With structural anomaly 6 0%


      Provides detailed genetic mutational information
      Lab-based fndings

      Mosaicism (bone marrow)

      AFP

      AChE

      Other
      Accurate but based on chromosomal mosaicism, %

      Yes, if required

      Yes, if required

      any neonatal blood parameters
      Other procedural risks

      Umbilical cord bleeding

      Fetal bradycardia

      Vertical infection (hepatitis B or C; HIV) through maternal-to-fetal circulation
      20% to 30%

      5% to 10%

      Unknown, but estimated to be low
      Procedural protocol technical aspects

      Antibiotics

      Maternal sedation

      Local anaesthesia

      Skin preparation

      Needle guidance

      Needle gauge and length

      Paralytic agent

      Sampling site
      NAIT: neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia; NIH: neonatal intraventricular hemorrhage; Bg: human leukocyte antigens class I; IUGR intrauterine growth restriction; MCV: mean corpuscular volume

      SUMMARY

      Risk/benefit counselling for in utero prenatal diagnosis procedures requires appropriate patient information with fetal-specific genetic depth of analysis and level of testing recommended to assist in the informed consent process.
      Cost-effectiveness analysis (of medical, personal, and genetic information) are not yet available for these new prenatal diagnosis scenarios. Patient choice and consent will require new counselling processes and time commitments.
      Cost-effectiveness analysis (of medical, personal, and genetic information) are not yet available for these new prenatal diagnosis scenarios. Patient choice and consent will require new counselling processes and time commitments.
      The field is rapidly evolving, and SOGC, like other health organizations, will endeavour to stay abreast of evidence as it becomes available.

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