What is NIPD / NIPT?

The fundamentals of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and testing

What is NIPD / NIPT?

Non invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) or testing (NIPT) is based on a maternal blood test.

NIPD

In some cases, the procedure is diagnostic (NIPD) and will mean that an invasive test is not required to confirm a NIPD result.

NIPT

In other circumstances, such as testing for Down syndrome, an invasive test will still be necessary to confirm an abnormal result, and it is then referred to as NIPT.

Advantages

We call the test ‘non invasive’ because it is carried out on a sample of blood from a mother.  The main advantages of NIPD are that it can be carried out much earlier in pregnancy than current tests and that the procedure does not carry any risk of miscarriage.  The test only requires a sample of maternal blood, rather than having to take a sample directly from the pregnancy as in other types of prenatal diagnosis, such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis.

Further information

If you are an expectant mother and think you may be eligible for non-invasive prenatal testing, contact your geneticist or GP for more information.

For more details about NIPD / NIPT, please see our series of guides.

‘We call the test “non invasive” because it is carried out on a sample of blood from a mother’