Frequently Asked Questions About Panorama
Find answers to the most common questions regarding the Panorama prenatal test below.
During pregnancy, some of the DNA from the baby crosses into mom’s bloodstream. DNA carries the baby’s genetic information on chromosomes. Natera has a laboratory test that uses a blood sample from the mother to find the baby’s DNA and to look for certain chromosome conditions that could affect the baby’s health.
The Panorama screening test is a noninvasive prenatal test (NIPT). This means that the Panorama Test is safe for you and your baby. To have the test done, your doctor just draws a small sample of blood from your arm. Fathers have the option of sending in a cheek swab sample with your blood. Including the father’s sample may improve the performance of the test in certain circumstances.
The Panorama Test looks for certain chromosome conditions in the baby. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes for a total of 46 — two copies of each pair. The first 22 pairs are numbered 1 through 22. The last pair determines sex. Girls have two X chromosomes, and boys have one X and one Y chromosome. Health and development problems occur when there are extra or missing chromosomes.
- When there is an extra copy of any one chromosome — 3 copies instead of 2 — it is called a trisomy.
- When there is a missing copy of any one chromosome — 1 copy instead of 2 — it is called a monosomy.
The Panorama Test can detect more chromosome conditions than most of the other non-invasive tests. Natera is actively in the process of adding more conditions to the list. Currently, the Panorama Test screens for:
- Trisomy 21: This is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21 and is also called Down syndrome. This is the most common cause of intellectual disability. It may also cause certain birth defects of the heart or other organs and may cause hearing or vision problems.
- Trisomy 18: This is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 18 and is also called Edwards syndrome. This causes severe intellectual disability. It also causes serious birth defects of the heart, brain and other organs. Babies with Edwards syndrome usually pass away before one year of age.
- Trisomy 13: This is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 13 and is also called Patau syndrome. This causes severe intellectual disability. It also causes many serious birth defects. Babies with Patau syndrome usually pass away before one year of age.
- Monosomy X (also called Turner syndrome or 45,X): This is caused by a missing X chromosome and affects only girls. Girls with Monosomy X may have heart defects, hearing problems, minor learning disabilities and are usually shorter than average. As adults, they are often infertile.
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There are other blood screening tests available during pregnancy. These tests can tell you if there is a high chance that your baby has a chromosome condition, such as Down syndrome. However, older types of screening tests have a higher chance of incorrect results. This means some pregnancies with a chromosome condition would be missed. It also could mean that and some women with healthy babies may be given a result that incorrectly shows an increased chance the baby has a chromosome condition.
To know for sure if the baby has a chromosome condition, tests on the pregnancy itself, like chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis, can be done. Both of these have risks, including the small chance of miscarriage. Speak with your doctor or genetic counselor if you have more questions about your testing options.
Most results will be returned within 10 working days.
The report sent to your doctor will have one of these results:
- LOW RISK RESULTS: A low risk result means the chance that your baby has one of the chromosome conditions we list is very low.
- HIGH RISK RESULTS: A high risk result means there is a very high chance that your baby has that condition. Your doctor or genetic counselor will talk to you about follow-up options that can tell you for sure.
There is also a slim chance that no results will be obtained from your initial sample. In this case we recommend sending us another sample.
The Panorama Test is made for women of any age and ethnicity who are at least 9 weeks pregnant. It is not meant for women who are carrying more than one baby (twins or triplets), or for women who have used a donor egg, or have received a bone marrow transplant.
Many pregnant women have concerns about the health of their baby. If you have concerns, you should talk with your doctor. He or she will advise you as to what tests you might want to have to help give you peace of mind.
Some women have a higher chance for chromosome abnormalities because of their age, family history, or other screening test results. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends these women be offered a non-invasive prenatal test like the Panorama Test (Committee Opinion No. 545, Dec 2012). These women may choose to have the Panorama Test to help them decide if they want a CVS or amniocentesis.
Most women who have the Panorama test will find out their baby is at low risk for the conditions tested. This means that the chance of the baby having one of these conditions is very low, which can be reassuring. When the test result shows a high risk, it is important to talk with your doctor about your next steps.
Natera understands that prenatal testing is an important decision for expecting mothers and their families. For this reason, Natera strives to make this test affordable for all patients and has developed a variety of programs to assist expecting mothers with paying for this test. More information for expecting mothers both with and without private health insurance, Medicaid and TriCare can be found in Patient Access Programs.
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For more information on prenatal testing talk to your healthcare provider or contact Natera to speak with a member of our staff.contact us