information about NIPT test
Oslo Midwifery and Ultrasound Clinic is now approved by the Norwegian Directorate of Health to perform NIPT-testing. We have good knowledge of fetal diagnostics, and extensive experience in ultrasound of pregnant women and maternity care. If you want the NIPT-test, we will give you good information, guidance, and follow-up before, during and after the test.
What is NIPT?
What is the NIPT test? NIPT (Non-Invasive Prenatal Test) is a screening test – a blood test – used in fetal diagnostics. The blood sample is taken from the mother and can be performed from gestational week 10 + 0 and throughout the pregnancy. The purpose of the blood test is to determine the likelihood of chromosomal abnormalities, ie changes in the genes, which can cause serious malformations in the child. In Norway, NIPT can be used by approved clinics to test for trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) and trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome). In the pregnant woman’s blood, there are pieces of the fetus’ DNA. It is assumed that genetic material comes from cells in the placenta that grow in the uterine wall, and thus come into contact with the mother’s blood. Since the placenta is of the same genetic origin as the fetus, it usually has the same origin of chromosomes as the fetus. This means that in principle, all genetic material (DNA) can be known before the child is born. It is a safe and reliable test to detect these three specific chromosomal abnormalities.
NIPT and ultrasound
The blood sample is easily taken from the mother’s arm and can be performed from pregnancy length 10 + 0 and throughout the pregnancy. We conduct NIPT in combination with an ultrasound examination where it is examined whether there is cardiac activity, whether there is possibly more than one fetus, and measurement of how many weeks the fetus’ age is. In Norway, the test cannot be performed in the case of twin pregnancies.
"The NIPT-school" must be completed in advance
It is important to us that the pregnant woman who wants NIPT is well informed about what such a test is, what it entails, its limitations and what consequences an answer may entail. Therefore, we encourage you to do an online tutorial in NIPT – the NIPT school – click here. You can choose English language at NIPT school. It is explained in more detail what NIPT is, safety around the test, reliability, and what consequences an answer may entail. It has been validated by specialists in fetal diagnostics, genetics, neonatology, and pediatrics. The NIPT school itself is free.
You will receive the NIPT test result
Usually within 10 days
NIPT provides information on trisomy 21, 18 and 13. We therefore also recommend that an organ-oriented ultrasound examination should be performed between weeks 12-14. This examination looks at the anatomy and organs of the fetus. We perform NIPT in combination with an early ultrasound from 10 + 0, in combination with an organ-directed ultrasound in weeks 12-14, or later in the pregnancy.
More information about NIPT
The NIPT-test is done in 4 steps:
Step 1: Book an appointment with NIPT via our online booking, by phone: 95 41 47 40 or by email: email@example.com You choose whether you want to take the test in combination with an early ultrasound from week 10 + 0, or an organ-oriented ultrasound from week 12-14.
Step 2: Complete the NIPT school before your appointment with us. This portal logs in with BankID. This is also where you log in to be able to see the test result.
Step 3: Your actual appointment with us at the clinic where the blood sample is taken after completing NIPT school in advance, we perform the ultrasound examination, guidance, and you must sign a consent form. The blood sample is then sent for analysis.
Step 4: Usually, you will receive the answer to the test within 10 days. A notification via SMS that the answer is available is sent to you, and you must then log in with BankID to be able to see the result. Any guidance and further follow-up will be performed by us if desired. If the answer to the test is abnormal, uncertain or in the case of insufficient DNA material, the pregnant woman will be contacted by us. If the examination shows a high probability of disease or developmental abnormalities in the fetus, the pregnant woman will after a conversation, follow-up, and possible guidance with us be referred to the fetal diagnostics department at the hospital for further examination. Experts in fetal diagnostics will provide thorough information about the developmental abnormality and the disease the child will get, as well as any treatment options and support measures you might need. A positive test result can lead to a difficult choice. The woman decides for herself how she wants to proceed with the answer.
We recommend booking an appointment for NIPT Monday-Thursday. We also perform NIPT-tests on Fridays, but to avoid any delays in the test result time due to the weekend, we recommend Monday-Thursday. Your NIPT-test are sent from us to the labratory on the same day as the sampling.
If the woman wishes to terminate the pregnancy, abortion is an option until week 12 of the pregnancy. After this, the abortion will only be granted after applying for it, depending on the severity of the disease. The woman is not required to terminate the pregnancy if she does not wish to do so, regardless of what the developmental abnormalitiy is.
We collaborate with Life Genomics AB in Gothenburg in Sweden / Edda Labs who have several years of experience with NIPT analysis, as the test has been performed in Sweden for many years. The test we use is the Roche Harmony prenatal test (CE-IVF marked). The blood sample will be destroyed after the test results are available and after the patient has been informed. This means that further analyzes cannot be performed.
In the public sector, the existing guidelines for fetal diagnostics and NIPT tests apply, read more about them here.
FAQ about NIPT
Do I have to do an ultrasound with NIPT? Can't I just take the blood test?
Based on the Norwegian Directorate of Health's guidelines, an ultrasound must be performed together with NIPT to confirm the heartbeat and length of pregnancy. If you get an "Early ultrasound" in the public sector and want to do a NIPT in addition, contact us!
What if I change my mind about NIPT during my appointment?
If you order a NIPT test, but change your mind when you get here and only want the ultrasound, you will get a fee of NOK 500 in addition to the price of the ultrasound examination. This is because we set aside more time if you order NIPT.
How accurate is NIPT?
NIPT has a sensitivity of 95%-99%. Ultrasound has a sensitivity of 75%-85%. It is important to know that one of the screening methods does not exclude the other. NIPT and ultrasound weeks 12-14 are different methods that complement each other and thereby increase the reliability of the fetal examination. In the case of a response to NIPT that shows a high probability, an invasive test is recommended to confirm or deny the result of NIPT. We refer to fetal diagnostics at Rikshospitalet for such examinations.
What is ultrasound?
2D (two-dimensional) ultrasound is sound waves that are transmitted from a probe into the body. The sound waves have such a high frequency that they’re inaudible to the human ear.
When the sound waves hit the body tissue, an echo occurs. The echo causes the sound waves to return to the sound head, which captures these sound signals.
After processing on a computer, the incoming audio signals appear as vivid images in black and white on a screen.
Is ultrasound dangerous?
Ultrasounds of pregnant women have been performed for more than 40 years. No adverse effects on women or foetuses have been recorded.
In case of suspicion of illness or abnormalities, what happens next?
The midwives who perform ultrasound have completed one year of foetal diagnosis at the National Centre for Emergency Medicine at NTNU. If we see pictures that deviate from the normal we will refer the woman to a maternal-foetal medicine specialist at the National Hospital. She’ll then get an appointment within a few days.