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  • Overview

    Mount Elizabeth Prenatal-Diagnostics

    It is natural for all parents-to-be to worry about the health of their unborn baby. Prenatal diagnostics are a form of health screening that allows our specialists to perform detailed tests on the foetus to determine whether there are any existing congenital defects and problems. As with all diseases and medical conditions, early diagnosis can help doctors determine the best course of action and also allow parents to be prepared for their unborn children’s medical condition.

    Mount Elizabeth Novena Prenatal Diagnostic Centre

    Prenatal diagnostics at Mount Elizabeth is supported by the Prenatal Diagnostic Centre at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. Staffed with a large team of senior foetal medicine specialists and paediatric cardiologists, the centre provides premium prenatal diagnostic evaluation and treatment.

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  • Screening services

    The prenatal diagnostics available at Mount Elizabeth Hospital range from early trimester screening to mid-trimester serum screening for Down syndrome. When the foetus is suspected of having a birth defect, growth restriction, or when the pregnancy is high risk due to the mother’s physical condition and age, we are fully equipped to diagnose and monitor the situation. We use high quality 2D foetal imaging, growth surveillance and biophysical foetal assessment, as well as foetal blood sampling or amniotic fluid aspiration to detect any infection or inherited disorders.

    Our prenatal diagnostics services include:

    Foetal anomaly scan

    An ultrasound scan at around 18 - 20 weeks to check for foetal congenital anomalies, this is sometimes called the mid-pregnancy scan. At this stage, the foetus is large enough and the major organ systems are also adequately formed to be inspected. During the scan, the baby will be checked on the following:

    • Shape of the head and the brain structures
    • Correct alignment of the spine and that the skin covers the spine
    • Long bones of the limbs, heands and feet, fingers and toes.
    • Cleft lip
    • Size and symmetry of the heart chambers, heart valves and the orientation of the great blood vessels
    • Kidneys and bladder
    • Gender

    In addition, the position of the placenta and the sufficiency of amniotic fluid are also checked. This thorough examination of the foetal structures pick up major abnormal feature so that early action can be taken.


    Also known as Amniotic Fluid Test (AFT), this is mainly performed to diagnose chromosomal abnormality. Common abnormalities include Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome and Turner syndrome. AFT is also performed to detect sex of the foetus, foetal lung maturity and foetal infection.

    When doing AFT a small amount of local anaesthetic is first administered to relieve the pain felt during the insertion of the needle. Using the guidance of ultrasound, the needle is inserted through the mother’s abdomen, through the uterus wall and into the amniotic sac away. The needle will be placed safely away from the foetus and about 20ml of amniotic fluid is extracted. 

    For prenatal genetic diagnosis, the foetal cells in amniotic fluid sample will be cultured, fixed and stained, and the chromosomal make-up will be examined under the microscope. For diagnosing in-utero foetal infection, the amniotic fluid will be cultured for any growth of micro-organism.

    Chorionic villus sampling

    Chorionic villus sampling is a prenatal test usually done between 10 - 12 weeks of pregnancy, when a small sample of placental tissue (chorionic villus) is removed for analysis. The test can be performed in two ways, either through the cervix or through the abdomen. The advantage of chorionic villus sampling is that the result may be obtained earlier and further action, if necessary, can be taken quickly.

    Foetal blood sampling

    Foetal blood samply (FBS) is usually done between 20 - 23 weeks of pregnancy. During the procedure blood is drawn from the umbilical cord of the foetus. Similar to the AFT and CVS, a small hollow needle is inserted through the abdomen and uterus into the umbilical cord. FBS is generally conducted to detect for chromosomal disorders, genetic diseases and viral infections.

  • Congenital heart defects

    Foetal congenital heart defects, which affect 1% of pregnancy, can be a single defect of the heart partition or valve, or complex multiple defects that involve the heart and the major heart vessels. Our specialists perform foetal echocardiography with 3D reconstruction and real-time 4D imaging to interrogate the foetal heart structures and functions. Their personalized counselling on subsequent care is founded on many years of clinical experience in managing children with cardiac malformations through to adulthood.

    Foetal Echocardiogram

    A foetal echocardiogram is similar to an ultrasound, it uses sound waves to map out the structures of the heart. This test is usually done around 18 - 24 weeks into the pregnancy. It provides the doctor information on the heart’s interior and whether the heart has formed properly. The echocardiogram can also detect if there is any abnormal blood flow through the heart or abnormal heartbeat pattern.

  • Where is this available?

    Your goal of getting swift, accurate and effective treatment is our strength. Our skilled team of specialists and staff operate at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital – an award-winning hospital with advanced technology and modern facilities. Take your first step towards better pregnancy care today, and experience the high-quality, customised healthcare that has made us one of the leading medical institutions in Asia-Pacific.

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