The IONA Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)

What is non-invasive prenatal testing?

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for pregnant women estimates the risk of a fetus having certain chromosomal, genetic conditions. NIPT is carried out by taking a small maternal blood sample.

Starlight offers both the Illumina VeriSeq v2 NIPT for £425 and the IONA NIPT for £450 both of which include an ultrasound scan and blood test.

Here is a leaflet explaining the IONA test.

How does it work?

During pregnancy the placenta leaks cell-free DNA which circulates in the maternal bloodstream. As a result, a maternal blood sample contains a mixture of placental and maternal circulating cell-free DNA. The IONA® test directly measures the amount of cell-free DNA and can detect small changes in the DNA ratio between the maternal and placental cell-free DNA when a fetal trisomy 21, 18 or 13 is present.

What does IONA® screen for?

The IONA® test estimates the risk of a fetus having Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards’ syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau’s syndrome (Trisomy 13). Trisomies occur when three, instead of the usual two, copies of a chromosome are present. Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes are much rarer than Down’s syndrome but are very serious and many affected babies sadly do not survive. Fetal sex determination is available as an option, and has an accuracy of greater than 99%. It is recommended fetal sex is confirmed by ultrasound. Very rarely, the fetal sex determination may fail, this does not impact the trisomy result in any way. Starlight Ultrasound offers gender determination via ultrasound from 13 weeks.

What are the benefits of the IONA test?

Pregnant women can expect IONA test results from Starlight within approximately 2-5 working days from sample receipt in the Yourgene Genomic Services laboratory in Manchester.

The IONA Test is safe, non-invasive with no risk of miscarriage, with fast results and  accurate (>99.99 % for Trisomy 21, 18 and 13).

What does IONA® Care screen for?

Here is a leaflet explaining the additional tests offered by IONA Care. In addition to the above Trisomy tests, IONA Care also screens for:

Sex Chromosome Aneuploidies (SCA) (additional £32.50): these occur when there are differences in the expected number of the chromosomes associated with sex determination,the X and Y chromosomes.

And/or Autosomal Aneuploidies (AA) (additional £32.50): All additional trisomies (the presence of an extra chromosome) or monosomies (having a single chromosome instead of a pair).

SCA, AA analysis and fetal sex determination is only available for singleton and monochorionic twin pregnancies.

The IONA test is suitable for vanishing twin syndrome.

The total cost for IONA Care is £515 if both SCA and AA are included in the test.

Appointments for the IONA NIPT are available to book online or over the phone and at both clinic locations of Bury and Hale with weekend and early evening availability.

You can see our real-time availability and book the IONA NIPT online or contact us any other way that suits you best.

If you require further information on the IONA test please read these two leaflets - one for the IONA Test and one for IONA Care.