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  • Overview


    It is natural for 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 fetus 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 appropriate course of action and also allow parents to be prepared for their unborn child’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 fetal medicine specialists and paediatric cardiologists, the centre provides 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. Whether the fetus is suspected of having a birth defect, growth restriction, or if the pregnancy is high risk due to the mother’s physical condition and age, we are well-equipped to diagnose and monitor the situation. We use quality 2D fetal imaging, growth surveillance and biophysical fetal assessment, as well as fetal blood sampling or amniotic fluid aspiration to detect any infection or inherited disorders.

    Our prenatal diagnostics services include:

    Fetal Anomaly Scan

    An ultrasound scan at around 18 - 20 weeks to check for fetal congenital anomalies, this is sometimes called the mid-pregnancy scan. At this stage, the fetus 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, hands 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 fetal structures pick up major abnormal feature so that early action can be taken.


    Also known as the 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 fetus, fetal lung maturity and fetal 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. The needle will be placed safely away from the fetus and will extract 20ml of amniotic fluid. 

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

    Chorionic Villus Sampling

    Chorionic villus sampling is a prenatal test done between 10 - 12 weeks of pregnancy to discover genetic defects in the fetus. A small sample of placental tissue (chorionic villus) is removed for analysis and can be performed in two ways, either through the cervix or through the abdomen. One benefit of chorionic villus sampling is that the test can be done very early in the pregnancy, resulting in early intervention for any genetic deficiency in the fetus.

    Fetal Blood Sampling

    Fetal blood sampling (FBS) is usually done between 20 - 23 weeks of pregnancy. During the procedure blood is drawn from the umbilical cord of the fetus. 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

    Fetal 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. Fetal echocardiography is performed with 3D reconstruction and real-time 4D imaging to examine the fetus' heart structures and functions. Personalised counselling on subsequent care founded on many years of clinical experience in managing children with cardiac malformations through to adulthood is available for parents who may benefit from them.

    Fetal Echocardiogram

    A fetal echocardiogram is similar to an ultrasound, using 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?

    Our skilled team of specialists and staff operate at Mount Elizabeth Orchard and Mount Elizabeth Novena – both award-winning hospitals with modern technology and facilities.

    Take your first step towards better health today, and experience the quality and customised healthcare that has made us one of the most trusted medical institutions in the Asia-Pacific.

    Make an EnquiryBook an Appointment