On the October 28 broadcast of Mayo Clinic Radio, Myra Wick, M.D., Ph.D., Consultant in the Division of Laboratory Genetics and Genomics at Mayo Clinic, explained the latest advances in prenatal screening.
New technologies are making prenatal screening much more sophisticated. It's now possible for parents to be screened for certain gene abnormalities to find out whether future children might be at risk for developing a genetic disorder, and it's done with a simple blood test. Further, once pregnant, a woman can take a simple blood test to tell if her fetus has a genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome.
During the program, Dr. Wick discussed who should get prenatal screening, pre-conception screening available to parents, and the accuracy of prenatal testing.
"With our advances in technology, many laboratories are now offering an expanded carrier screening where they might test parents for up to 120 or 170 disorders to see if the parents are carriers," said Dr. Wick.
Dr. Wick also discussed cell-free DNA testing and whole-exome sequencing for prenatal disorders, how the testing works, and why it's beneficial.
Listen to the Podcast
To listen to the interview, the radio segment featuring Dr. Wick begins at 20:25 and runs through 29:14. If you have time, the full show also includes Minetta Liu, M.D., a medical oncologist at Mayo Clinic who breaks down the latest results of the Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup. Also on the program, Karthik Balakrishnan M.D., an otolaryngologist at Mayo Clinic, discusses treatment for pediatric ear, nose, and throat problems.