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Upstate Answers: Why doesn't amniocentesis test for genetic conditions other than Downs?

There are so many genetic conditions. Why does amniocentesis only test for Downs Syndrome? – Seth Tucker, Syracuse

“Amniocentesis is a procedure that provides a diagnosis of fetal defects.  It is usually done in the early second trimester.  In the 1970's, Down Syndrome was the most common condition for which amniocentesis was performed.

“Today, more than 800 diagnostic tests are available through amniocentesis--which makes this procedure not exclusive to Down Syndrome.” --Nurse midwife Heather Shannon, director of the Upstate Midwifery Program

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