Greenville, SC /PRNewswire/ - Premier Medical Laboratory Services (PMLS) is announcing today that they have added Noninvasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) to their full line of medical diagnostic testing and risk screening services. Their broad menu of highly advanced tests and screenings include genomic risk assessment assays for various cancers, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as women's health panels, toxicology, allergy testing, pharmacogenomics, routine blood chemistry, and now, NIPT. Introduced to the US roughly ten years ago, NIPT is provided as a screening method for chromosomal abnormalities such as Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) and can indicate the sex of a developing baby. It has continued to grow in popularity among women during pregnancy because it is risk-free and highly accurate.
Before NIPT, Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis were the most widely used for the detection of chromosomal abnormalities. These methods are still performed today as diagnostic tests, but involve sampling of the placenta or amniotic fluid, which presents a risk to the pregnancy. NIPT is risk-free because it is simply conducted with a blood sample from the mother as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy.
"We feel that NIPT should be offered as an option to every mother during pregnancy," said Kevin Murdock, CEO and founder of PMLS. "We are proud to add this testing to our menu, providing top level screening so that obstetricians can safely provide meaningful information for their patients during pregnancy."
As a laboratory, PMLS strives to offer only the most advanced and accurate testing and screening available for optimal patient care. NIPT at PMLS is conducted with state of the art Illumina whole-genome sequencing and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. Whole-genome sequencing and NGS has been shown to result in substantially lower test failures than other NIPT methodologies such as targeted sequencing and array-based methods. The test is not diagnostic but is used as a highly accurate screening method for aneuploidies, also known as chromosomal abnormalities.
How NIPT works:
From a blood sample, NIPT analyzes fragments of maternal cell free DNA and placental DNA during pregnancy. Within the sample, there is a fraction of DNA in the blood that is placental and not maternal. The amount of placental DNA in the sample is called the fetal fraction. Generally, the fetal fraction must be above four percent for an accurate screening, which typically occurs around the tenth week of pregnancy. At PMLS, the NGS and whole genome sequencing process produces quality data from the blood sample for reliable analysis of the trace amounts of cfDNA found circulating within blood plasma and is used to screen for common chromosomal conditions including trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome), and trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome).
NIPT is widely covered by insurance for high-risk and some regular pregnancies. For more information on PMLS and to offer NIPT to patients, please visit www.premedinc.com or call 866-387-2909.
Premier Medical Laboratory Services (PMLS), headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, is the official health and wellness partner of the Greenville Triumph and an advanced molecular diagnostics lab fully certified by top laboratory accrediting organizations, including CLIA and COLA. PMLS prides itself on delivering some of the most rapid turnaround times of testing results in the industry and patient friendly billing. Their expansive menu of highly advanced tests and screenings include genomic risk assessment assays for various cancers, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as women's health panels, toxicology, allergy testing, pharmacogenomics, routine blood chemistry, and noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT). With a heartfelt mission to improve patient care, their in-house research and development team of PhD scientists and forward-thinking laboratory staff are continually innovating ways to provide the most highly advanced medical diagnostics available. For more information about PMLS, please visit www.premedinc.com or call 866-387-2909.