Getting the results

We will receive the blood results direct from the laboratory. You will receive the full results at the time of the Nuchal scan.

How do we interpret the test result?

The aim of the screening process is to provide you with an indication of risk which then allows you to make an informed choice about whether to have a diagnostic test (CVS or amniocentesis). Having a diagnostic test (CVS or amniocentesis) is a purely personal decision but as a guide we normally consider a high risk of Down's syndrome to be 1 in 150 or worse. We would then offer an invasive test. This of course means that even with a high-risk result most women will still have a completely normal baby. We will discuss this with you.

Increased nuchal translucency is a marker for chromosomal abnormalities other than Down's syndrome and indeed other fetal abnormalities. Occasionally your Nuchal scan may suggest a problem other than Down's syndrome, in which case you will be given as much information as is available and the appropriate follow-up.

If the risk is high

If you have a higher risk result, we would normally make an appointment with the NHS Fetal Medicine Department (FMU) in Oxford to discuss it further. If you do opt for diagnostic testing (CVS or amniocentesis), this would normally be arranged there, although it can also be arranged privately with Mr Impey.

As fetal heart abnormalities are slightly more common in babies with increased nuchal translucency, we may recommend a detailed scan of the baby's heart at 20 weeks too.