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Chorionic Villus Sampling

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Home / Medical Specialities / Fetal Medicine / Invasive Tests / Chorionic Villus Sampling

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is an invasive prenatal diagnostic test offered at Emirates Hospitals to assess your baby’s chromosomal makeup and potential genetic conditions. Unlike routine ultrasound scans, CVS involves extracting a small sample of placental tissue for detailed analysis. This procedure provides earlier results compared to other invasive tests,allowing you to make informed decisions about your pregnancy.

Why is Chorionic Villus Sampling Performed?

Your doctor at Emirates Hospitals might recommend CVS under specific circumstances:

  • Advanced maternal age: Women 35 years old and above have a slightly increased risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality. CVS can identify these issues early in pregnancy.
  • Family history of genetic conditions: If you or your partner has a family history of a specific genetic disorder,CVS can determine if your baby has inherited the condition.
  • Abnormal results from non-invasive tests: If a screening test like a first-trimester combined screening or quad screen indicates an increased risk, CVS can provide a definitive diagnosis.
  • Ultrasound findings: If an ultrasound reveals any concerning signs related to your baby’s development, CVS can offer a more detailed evaluation.

What Happens During a Chorionic Villus Sampling Procedure?

A CVS procedure, typically performed between 10 and 13 weeks of pregnancy, involves two main approaches:

  • Transabdominal CVS: This is the more common method. A thin needle is inserted through your abdomen and into the placenta under ultrasound guidance. A small sample of chorionic villi, finger-like projections containing fetal cells, is then extracted.
  • Transcervical CVS: In some cases, a thin tube (catheter) might be inserted through the cervix and into the placenta to collect the villus sample. This approach is less frequently used but might be preferred depending on the baby’s position or the location of the placenta.

The entire procedure typically takes around 15-20 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis. You might experience some mild cramping or discomfort during the procedure, but local anesthesia can help minimize any pain.

What Can Chorionic Villus Sampling Reveal?

The collected villus sample undergoes chromosomal analysis and other genetic tests to identify potential abnormalities.CVS can detect a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Down syndrome: This is the most common chromosomal abnormality detected through CVS.
  • Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome: These are other serious chromosomal conditions that CVS can identify.
  • Cystic fibrosis: This is a genetic disorder affecting the lungs and digestive system.
  • Tay-Sachs disease: This is a rare genetic condition affecting the nervous system.

Benefits of Chorionic Villus Sampling

  • Early results: Compared to amniocentesis, CVS offers results within 1-2 weeks, allowing for quicker decision-making.
  • Detection of certain conditions: CVS can identify some genetic abnormalities not detectable through amniocentesis.

Risks of Chorionic Villus Sampling

  • Miscarriage: There’s a small but increased risk of miscarriage associated with CVS compared to other prenatal tests.
  • Infection: As with any invasive procedure, there’s a slight risk of infection.
  • Rh sensitization: If you are Rh-negative, CVS can lead to Rh sensitization, a condition where your body develops antibodies against Rh-positive blood. However, this risk can be managed with medication.

Following Up After CVS

After the procedure, your doctor at Emirates Hospitals will discuss the results with you in detail. If the CVS results are normal, you can likely continue with routine prenatal care. However, if the test reveals an abnormality, your doctor will discuss further testing options, management strategies, and provide support throughout this process.

It’s important to remember that CVS is a personal decision. Your doctor at Emirates Hospitals will thoroughly explain the risks and benefits of the procedure to help you determine if it’s the right choice for your pregnancy.

Last update date: 03-07-2024

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