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What is the scientific basis of PraenaTest®?

The PrenaTest® method centres on the analysis of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in the pregnant woman’s blood. These small fragments of genetic material are not contained within cells, but circulate freely in the mother’s bloodstream; they include maternal DNA as well as between 2-40% (on average around 10%) fetal DNA (cell-free fetal DNA, or cffDNA). The genetic material stems from dead placental cells, and is continually released into the pregnant woman’s bloodstream.

Individual fragments have a lifespan of under two hours, and within a few hours after the child’s birth, cffDNA is no longer detectable in the mother’s blood.
The PrenaTest® determines whether the pregnant woman’s blood contains elevated levels of fetal genetic material (cffDNA) for a particular chromosome, indicating a corresponding trisomy in the unborn child.
Prenatal tests based on this method are referred to as non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).
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