What is the NIFTY test?

NIFTY is a blood test that analyzes maternal blood to detect Down syndrome and two other chromosomal abnormalities (Edwards’ syndrome and Patau syndrome) during pregnancy.

This is a state-of-the-art non-invasive procedure for Down syndrome screening, which means that there is no need to take a sample from the fetus cells. The NIFTY test (and other similar prenatal genetic diagnostic test using maternal blood sample) is based on a discovery made by Dennis Lo, professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1997, which shows that fetal genetic material (DNA) is transferred into the maternal blood in a proportion of up to 10% to 15% compared to the maternal DNA.

Fetal DNA and any quantitative deviation from the normal values can be identified in the maternal blood with a sufficient degree of accuracy using today’s molecular genetic procedures. Therefore, the NIFTY test uses the analysis of fetal DNA in maternal blood. Its reliability is better than any of the earlier blood tests: in pregnancies tested so far the new test screened out all fetuses with Down syndrome.

What abnormalities does the NIFTY test show?