Impact of introducing cell-free DNA screening into clinical care on first trimester ultrasound

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: First-trimester ultrasound is an important component of prenatal care. We investigated the impact of introducing cell-free DNA (cfDNA) aneuploidy screening into routine care, on performance of first-trimester ultrasound. Methods: Retrospective study of patients who had prenatal care at a tertiary referral center. We compared the performance of any first-trimester ultrasound between three different aneuploidy screening protocols, used consecutively during the study period: (1) combined first-trimester screening (FTS); (2) FTS and cfDNA offered together; (3) patients requested to choose between FTS and cfDNA. Secondary outcomes included performance of nuchal translucency (NT), aneuploidy screens and diagnostic genetic procedures. Results: The number of patients undergoing first-trimester ultrasound remained similar with the second protocol but decreased in the third (68.7% vs. 40.9%, OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.25–0.4, p < 0.001). Diagnostic procedures decreased between protocol 1 and 2 (7.6% vs. 4.4%, OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.37–0.93, p = 0.02) while NT scans decreased between protocol 2 and 3 (6.8% vs. 1.3%, OR 0.18, 95% CI 0.09–0.4, p < 0.001). The rate of FTS decreased over the study period and less women had cfDNA when they had to choose one method (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Introducing cfDNA screening as an alternative to FTS, resulted in fewer patients receiving ultrasound in the first-trimester.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-259
Number of pages6
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of introducing cell-free DNA screening into clinical care on first trimester ultrasound'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this