Panorama Non-Invasive Genetic Screening
The Panorama Test is now available from First View Imaging and uses a blood sample to screen for genetic abnormalities. Panorama is a non-invasive and highly accurate prenatal screening test that gives you vital information about your baby’s health.
What is the Panorama test?
It has been discovered that a blood sample taken from the mother at any time from 9 weeks and 4 days of pregnancy can be analysed for cell free fetal DNA, which is essentially a marker in the mother’s blood of the DNA of the baby. The result of the simple blood test has a detection rate of more than 99% which will hugely reduce the need for invasive testing by CVS or amniocentesis. This is great news for couples because it eliminates the risk of miscarriage of the pregnancy. It is important that an ultrasound scan is performed just before the blood test to confirm the pregnancy, and to check if the mother is carrying twins or more. The Pananroma test is not currently availabe for twins ( including vanishing twin syndrome and demised twin), IVF with donor eggs or surrogate pregnancy.
Who needs a Panorama Test?
Anyone who is anxious about her baby having a chromosomal abnormality such as Downs, Edwards, Patau's syndrome or a sex chromosome abnormality. It is predicted that in 10 years it will become available for all on the NHS. Women who may need it are those that are older (particularly over 40 years), have already had a chromosomally abnormal pregnancy or who are at particular risk of miscarriage should they have an amniocentesis or chorionic villous sample.
How is the test done?
- An ultrasound scan is always done first.
- This is a simple blood test from the vein in the woman's arm like any other blood test. There is no risk to the mother or baby from having the test.
- The sample is immediately packaged and sent to the doctors laboratory in Natera in the USA for testing.
How long does it take to get a result?
The result is usually available within 10-14 days. There is approximately a 6% chance that no DNA is obtained by the Panorama test process. This does not signify a positive or a negative test; it signifies an unsuccessful test. An offer of a repeat test is made free of charge. This is usually successful. In rare circumstances the result can take longer than 14 days. We understand it can be a stressful time waiting for results and we will endeavour to communicate any delays to our patients as soon as we receive information from the laboratory.
How is the result expressed?
The result is expressed as a probability. It is a screening test and not a diagnostic test. A low risk test result gives a risk of a chromosomal problem of less than 1:10000. A high risk result gives a risk of greater than 99%. A high risk result does not confirm that the baby has the chromosome abnormality. An amniocentesis or chorionic villous sampling is necessary to give a diagnosis. The couple are counselled about this.
How much does it cost?
Theere are additional options available with the Panorama test. Please contact us to discuss the options.
The standard test is currently £370 including the ultrasound scan.
The standard test plus the additional 22q11.2 deletion test for DiGeorge syndrome is £400 including the ultrasound scan.
The standard test plus the 22Q deletion test with additional microdeletion tests is £450 including the ultrasound scan.
What happens after the test?
Depending on how many weeks pregnant you are, you will still have the opportunity to have a 12 week scan privately or with the NHS. The focus of the 12 week scan will change as you will already have the result of the Downs syndrome test, so the 12 week scan will look at the baby in detail for structural abnormalities (these may exist without a chromosomal abnormality). You will still have the opportunity to have the later scans, such as the 20 weeks scan, as before. If the test result is low risk then it is important that the person conducting the 12 week scan is aware of this.
Are there problems this test will not detect?
Yes. Structural abnormalities such as Spina Bifida, heart defects and a poorly growing baby will only be seen on scans and often not until later scans. These scans should still be undertaken.
The new Panorama test has been developed by Natera Diagnostics.
You can find more information about the Panorama test here: Panorama test details.