Beginning today, March 26, Northside Hospital and Atlanta Perinatal Consultants announce the availability of an affordable, safe and advanced screening test for common fetal trisomies, such as trisomy 21 that causes Down syndrome and trisomy 18 that causes Edwards syndrome.
The Harmony Prenatal Test, developed and offered by Ariosa Diagnostics utilizes a novel testing platform to analyze DNA in maternal blood so as to provide more accurate and personalized risk assessments for patients compared to current prenatal screening options. Published data in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Prenatal Diagnosis highlight the enhanced performance for trisomy 21 and 18 detection. The test is available to women of at least 10 weeks gestational age and is performed exclusively by Ariosa Diagnostics.
"The Harmony Prenatal Test will transform the way we test for common fetal trisomies in all pregnant women," explains Dr. Kevin J. Gomez, geneticist and maternal fetal medicine specialist of Atlanta Perinatal Consultants.
Gomez said combining the Harmony Prenatal Test with detailed ultrasound examination allows the practice to offer superior clinical care to patients compared to current prenatal screening options.
"We are excited to be the first practice in the Southeast to offer this advance in prenatal testing," Dr. Gomez said.
Atlanta Perinatal Consultants is a specialty provider for pregnant women at Northside Hospital.
"For patients, this new test really simplifies the current complexity of prenatal testing for conditions such as Down syndrome and reduces the need for unnecessary invasive procedures," says Dr. Genevieve Fairbrother, Chief of Medical Staff at Northside Hospital. "The Harmony Prenatal Test will provide more accurate information to women and reduce the anxiety from false positives with current screening tests."
Nancy McCrea Iannone, Executive Director of Down Syndrome Pregnancy, Inc. (DownSyndromePregnancy.org), states, "F or most expectant parents, this test will provide certainty that a trisomy is not an issue in their pregnancy."
She said there are reliable, useful resources online for both patients and health care providers which may bring clarity to an otherwise confusing time.
The Harmony Prenatal Test is available to most pregnant women and can be ordered by their healthcare provider. Atlanta Perinatal Consultants at Northside Hospital is the first to offer this test and it will become more broadly available in the near future. Those interested to learn more can contact Atlanta Perinatal Consultants at (404) 851-8988 or contact Ariosa Diagnostics, the testing laboratory, at 1-855-9-ARIOSA.